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Warlingham 36-56 Sevenoaks

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IN PREVIOUS years this fixture has always produced a high number of points being scored and in fairly good conditions and on a dry pitch, this mid-table match produced a similar result. With both teams already securing there London South East 2 division status for next season, this match could have been a bit of a write off, but from the outset this match had a 'super 15's' feel about it with very little rucks and mauls and  a lot of attacking running rugby.
Warlingham started the stronger of the two teams and it was clear to see that they had the better of the Sevenoaks pack in the set plays and early breaks from no 8 Mike Fair and Zack King gained Warlingham early territory and forced 2 penalties in which the usually reliable kicker Mark Kozminski sliced wide. With Warlingham still on the front foot it was Sevenoaks who struck first when a missed timed pass was intercepted by the Sevenoaks right winger and he showed a clean pair of heels and ran 60 meters to set Oaks on their way. Warlingham were somewhat shell shocked but soon managed to get the set piece working again with clear domination at Scrum time. An attacking scrum 5 meters out from Oaks line led to Warlingham's first penalty try of the afternoon and Kozminski found his kicking boots to level the scores up.
Warlingham then got into their stride and with more territory gained by booming kicks from Asa Wright led to Warlingham's second try of the afternoon through another driving scrum which was eventually touched down by Mike Fair. Kozminski added the extras. Although Oaks were not having it their way at scrum time, they posed a constant threat out wide it was clear to see that the very quick full back much preferred running with the ball than kicking it. Warlingham constantly kicked the ball down his throat and every time he counter attacked with great return in tantrum with his 2 wingers. It was Oak's left winger that finished off a free flowing move to bring the tie level.
Into the deep stages of the first half and it was Warlingham's pack who struck again with another Penalty try being awarded to them at scrum time. Props Keiron Scutt and Ant Abou-Zeid were really enjoying themselves in the set piece and must of felt rather aggrieved only going into the break 1 try to the good.
With a slight breeze in Warlingham's favour for the second half and clear forward domination, the match looked as thou it was heading in the direction of the Hamsey Green side. This was not to be the case as Oaks continued to play a very open style of rugby in which Warlingham couldn't compete with them. With continued loose kicks going to the Oaks full back, Warlingham struggled to keep the dangerous Oaks backs at bay and 2 early tries from well finished moves earned Oaks a well deserved lead. The Oaks kicker was also on song all day and I don't believe he missed a single kick all afternoon.
Warlingham battled hard and the game was anyone's for the taking, good breaks from Joe Mccavoy and Jon Osborne came to no avail as the ball was turned over in midfield by the Oaks number 6, who then broke at least 4 or 5 tackles to put his outside centre under the posts. Warlingham once again found themselves under their own posts regrouped. A stern taking too by Captain King briefly woke up Warli who then went down the other end and finished off a good backs move of their own. Converting his own try was Mark Kozminski.
Just as Warlingham started to pick up the pace and looked as thou they were going to have the last laugh in this topsy turvy game, Oaks struck again. The full back breaking tackles for fun and setting up another try from his own half finished off this time by the number 12. This was to be the way for Oaks next two tries as well and although Warlingham managed a consolation try from Luke Delderfield it was too little too late as Oaks scored their 8th try of the afternoon in similar fashion.
It is very rare that a side dominates up front so much and still concedes 8 tries, but the Oaks to their credit they finished off some brilliant moves and were well deserved winners. Warlingham have one final game left of the season against promotion seeking Charlton Park and will hope to improve upon their defensive woes to build on for next season.
Warlingham: Abou-Zeid, Scutt, J.Delderfield, L Delderfield, Ray, King, Fair, Wrightson, Mcavoy, Wright, Wrightson, Skinner, Atkinson, Osborne, Kozminski, subs – Murtagh, Nunn, Street.


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