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Home > News > Sevenoaks 1st XV fail to match the experience of Aylesford
Your News Sevenoaks 1st XV fail to match the experience of Aylesford

Despite an encouraging first half display, Aylesford eventually proved too strong for a Sevenoaks side who once again struggled to compete for the full eighty minutes.

Sevenoaks made the short trip down to local rivals Aylesford on Saturday to try to bring an end to a poor run of form which had seen them slide down the table in recent weeks. The omens were good with the pitch in fine condition, weather encouraging running rugby and Oaks winning the toss.

Aylesford made the better start though and with the wind on their backs put Oaks under early pressure by intelligently kicking deep into the corners, putting the young Oaks back three under considerable pressure. The new boys however were more than up to the task, particularly full back Thierry Walker who was composed and safe under the high ball and consistently beating the first man to give the forwards a platform to work from.

Eventually however, with Oaks unable to get out of their own half and Aylesford gaining the upper hand in the set piece the home side opened the scoring with a try from their powerful number eight bundling over from a 5 metre scrum. The try seemed to bring Oaks to life and for the next 10 minutes the away side played all the rugby. A few half-breaks from the lively back line and some powerful forward running led to sustained pressure, but unfortunately a loss of possession and a hoof down field from the Aylesford full back left Oaks once again under their own posts and a charged down kick led to a second try and Oaks facing a 12-0 deficit.

Sevenoaks though again showed good character and continued to take the game to Aylesford. Tom Hunt and James Preistley were impressive in the loose and some strong running from the backs and the back-row led Sevenoaks deep into Aylesford territory for much of the rest of the half. With five minutes to go to half time and after a period of pressure an Oaks scrum was was on the 22. Hunt flicked the ball out to scrum half Roffey who managed to coast / limp through the Aylesford defence into the corner, throwing four dummies in the process - make sure to save a couple for the kids George. With the conversion stroked over by Booysen and their tails up, Sevenoaks again drove deep into Aylesford territory straight from the re-start. This led to the last play of the half being a five metre scrum but unfortunately a mistake left the score 12-7 at the break.

With the elements now in Sevenoaks' favour and an Aylesford team who looked to be tiring, the half-time talk was positive and the mood optimistic. Unfortunately however after the re-start the game just seemed to slowly slip away from the away side. A couple of changes from Aylesford added power to both their backline and more importantly their pack, and they started to take control of the game in the tight and around the fringes, taking important yards out of the Oaks defence. This led to Oaks being on the defensive for the majority of the second forty minutes and, despite some brutal hitting from Booysen, they were never able to regain the upper hand.

Ayelsford slowly built on their lead and took the game away from Sevenoaks first with a penalty and then a try from their impressive Tongan replacement number 8 making the score 22-7. With the game beyond them Sevenoaks defended their line valiantly, but were unable to stop a further penalty and a well worked try as the clock ran down.

The final score of 30-7 was flattering to Aylesford but it again highlighted the weaknesses that Oaks need to work on before their next match, which is now a must win game, against bottom of the table Old Dunstonians on the 29th November.

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