Oaks get their bonus as Havant Falter
By Rugby Reporter
A tough away game at Sevenoaks saw the home side triumph
Havant travelled to promotion chasers Sevenoaks hoping with high hopes of causing another 'upset' against a top four team. In the end Oaks were comfortable winners and did what they needed to to keep in the promotion hunt.
Havant fielded a much changed pack with Harrison Chalk making his first start in the 1st XV and a reshuffled second row. Harrison Young was unavailable and Tom Blackburn moved from the front row to partner Richie Janes on his return.
Ben Chambers was unavailable at full back but Jerome Rudder was in to start his first game of the season.
Both teams started with lots of errors causing the game to be quite a stop start affair but it was the home side that were applying more of the pressure and this brought the first score from a driven maul. The Havant players felt they may have had a case for the maul being allowed to stop and restart a few too many times but Oaks controlled it well and trundled over the line.
Within 6 minutes Oaks had scored again, they ran in at the right wing as a good proportion of the Havant backline were involved in a bout of handbags in the middle of the field. The referee decided to ignore this and as play went on Oaks swept the ball wide and won the race for the corner.
Havant were not without their own opportunities and when they were able to keep ball for a few phases looked dangerous enough to give the travelling support some hope. But ball retention was an issue and too many times they coughed up possession.
The bets element of Oaks play was certainly their defence and while Havant hammered away for quite long periods they seemed to lack the cutting edge to make the break through.
As the half came towards an end Oaks were able to add a smartly taken drop goal to keep the scoreboard ticking over.
Half time: Oaks 15 Havant 0
Havant came out of the blocks in the second period with a bit more bite and within 10 minutes had constructed a cracking score with the forwards setting the platform the backs finished off in style and moved the ball ton James Wise for a great finish. Joel Knight added the conversion and the visitors were back in the game.
Oaks were desperate to keep the ball and their pick and go game was increasingly the go to tactic and it paid dividends with 17 minutes of the second half played. Having set up field position and a scrum their No.8 was able to pick and drive from the base of the scrum to claim an important score.
Havant certainly didn't throw in the towel and were in the game throughout showing some good phases of play and defence without every really hitting top gear.
The home side were desperate for the bonus try and pounded Havant's defence which showed real resolve but Oaks got the try they needed after camping on the Havant line . The bonus point try came in the 44th minute of the second half and probably made the score board a bit moire flattering than the game would have suggested.
Havant skipper Joel Knight was disappointed with the result,
'We felt we could have had more, we were a bit disjointed today, but that happens when you make so many changes.'
'We really on managed to pout together a few really coherent attacks and when we did we looked dangerous but there was not enough of it.'
' Oaks needed to do a job and didn't really want to play too much rugby, but fair do's they were able to get the bonus and keep their season alive.'
'We have three games to go, a huge game next week against Westcombe Park and a then a local derby against Totts and on the ;last weekend Medway who will probably need to win for promotion or a play-off place. There is still a lot of rugby to play.'