Old Gs 2s come up short against Sevenoaks
Battling display not enough against a good Sevenoaks side, who win 27-7
Match report courtesy of Kenny Price.
Due to a waterlogged pitch, Old Gravesendians warmly welcomed Sevenoaks to Bronte View, for what should have been an away fixture at Sevenoaks. Both sides were happy with the agreement and looked forward to another strong contest to kick off the New Year.
A new look back-line saw the return of MFS, Hodgey and Steve Thompson to the super 2s. This also added some much needed experience into the side. Old Gs knew what to expect from Sevenoaks from previous encounters but the emphasis was on putting a solid game plan into action early on.
The first ten minutes or so saw Old Gs camped in the Sevenoaks 22. Good ball retention at the breakdown allowed the forwards and backs to exchange possession and coming close to scoring a try. However, this is as close as it got at this point. After a series of phases, the Old Boys gave away a cynical penalty which Sevenoaks took advantage of by breaking and scoring up the other end. 5-0.
Sevenoaks were very fast at the breakdown all day, always having numbers there to secure possession, counter when needed and utilise their 9 and 10 effectively. This also allowed Sevenoaks to play Old Gs at their own game by using their own forward power to gain territory. Old Boys were able to cope with this for much of the half but eventually this did take its toll and saw a second try conceded, this time converted. 12-0.
At half time the emphasis was on getting the ball to our backs. When they were used, the likes of MFS and Hodge were able to break through the gain line and start splitting up Sevenoaks defensive line. However, Old Gs continually got sucked into using the forwards. Although this is usually a strength, on this occasion the opposition were not going to be phased by this. This resulted in possession being lost all too easily, which Sevenoaks again capitalised upon, scoring two more tries as a result. 22-0.
The match was not without its handbags either. The referee spoke to both captains a couple of times but one incident was the final straw for him. Mr Hodge saw red as a result, whilst a Sevenoaks player was sent to the sin bin. This did not see Old Gs cave in though. The players continued to put everything into the game and eventually got their reward as Martin Povey crashed over the line. MFS took on the kicking duties and converted to make the score 22-7.
Yet Sevenoaks were not finished there. They were able to win the ball from the kick off and run in one final try in a moment where the Old Boys had switched off. The match finished 27-7.
A lot of passion was shown from every man in blue who simply lost to a better opponent on the day. It was good to see everyone sticking at it in a hard fought match and battled to at least not finish with nil on the scoreboard! The scrum was much improved in this match after some technical discussions pre-match. Now that is back to looking strong again the 2s give themselves a better platform to work from at set-pieces.