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Home > News > Sevenoaks must now look to their remaining games to ensure survival
Your News Sevenoaks must now look to their remaining games to ensure survival

SEVENOAKS have been involved in two thrilling games of rugby in their past two league outings where the final result was unclear until the very last minute of the match - sadly Saturday's gritty game against Old Colfeians couldn't have been more different.

With the scores level at 8-8 going into the half-time break, it looked to be a case of whoever wanted it the most would come out on top, but Oaks, who unquestionably still have the desire to win every match, were simply out-muscled by a gnarly opposition tight five.

Unable to gain any decent possession or attacking positions of note, Oaks conceded 19 unanswered points in the second half to see their London 2 South survival hopes hanging by a delicate thread.

With only five games left, Sevenoaks are six points from safety and that's presuming both Wimbledon and Guildford lose the remainder of their games.

Oaks have two home matches still to play, against Sidcup and Beckenham, with three away trips to Dorking, Jersey and Chobham (the latter two of which are in the top three) of which they must now win at least three and hope the other results go in their favour. "It doesn't look great," admitted Oaks head coach Graham Arkley, who has revealed he will be moving away from the area at the end of the season to take up a new job as assistant head and director of sport at Wellingborough School in Northamptonshire.

"We have to take it game by game now, week by week, and get some wins under our belt. It would be really good not to finish bottom, we have got a bit of pride, even with the two-point penalty that makes life difficult." And Arkley wants more than anything to finish his last season off in charge of Sevenoaks on a high, saying: "I want to set some standards that should be in place for whenever whoever it is takes charge next year."

Unfortunately for Oaks, without talismanic captain George Roffey at the helm, the home side lacked an inspirational leader and this seemed to show in their application on the pitch against Old Colfs. Trailing 8-0 after the visitors scored a penalty and a try, Oaks responded almost immediately courtesy of James Garcia crossing for an unconverted score. An Anthony Campbell drop goal on the stroke of half-time evened things up going into the break, but Oaks were always on the back foot in the second period.

One rare break by Olly Robinson saw the tall number eight gallop through the Old Colfeians defence before chipping ahead for stand-in scrum half Shaun Connichie to chase in vain for the loose ball. And that was about the highlight of a gruelling forward battle, which it is safe to say Oaks lost. Two missed tackles in midfield meant Oaks conceded a couple of soft tries and when the game was all but beyond them the visitors scored a lucky charge down to add insult to injury.

And it may be an old adage, but there is no doubt that Saturday's game was won and lost up front. Old Colfs gave their hosts a torrid time and dominated a fiercely physical contest in which the home side did themselves no favours by having two men sin-binned during the second half.

With no game this weekend, Oaks have plenty of time to prepare for what could be the decisive moment in what has been a disappointing season for all involved as they travel to Dorking for yet another must-win match.

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