After taking part in one of the most intense games of their short rugby careers away at Stowe last week, the Oakham 1st XV were in determined mood ahead of their first home game of the season.
Nottingham High School were the visitors, in a fixture that has usually been kind to the Rutland outfit.
Oakham winger, Thomas Connant, reports:
Oakhamâ€™s first home match was against Nottingham High School. The team performed poorly in the first half, our defence unable to cope with Nottingham’s bullish forwards and well organised backs, conceding two tries.
Our passing was poor and Â somehow Oakham never really gained momentum. Luckily a great try was scored in the corner and great conversion followed keeping us in the match. The score was 7-13 at half time. Â
Fortunately the sun shone on us in the second half and the points piled on. Ruaridh Smith played a superb half and Ollie Allman kicked reliably throughout.
Left winger James Stables displayed the promise of youth with an excellent break down his left wing, beating players to score both his tries. Great work from the right winger and full back gave the home team one last try, finishing the game with a victory of 45-13.
Oakham’s passing was still a little haphazard and our scrums were often beaten by the heavier team but the sides fitness levels and attacking prowess once again shone as the game finished comfortably, despite a below par performance.
A lot of work needs to be done to give us any chance against better rugby teams.
Oakham perhaps came into the game slightly complacent, having always had a proud record against the Nottingham outfit. That they managed to turn around their fortunes in such style after the break is of great credit to them though.
Displaying levels of potency from wing a full back that are the envy of many other school teams, particularly full back Ruaraidh Smith who is a gem of a player, Oakham are a side with an outstanding attack.
Connantâ€™s honest assessment of Oakhamâ€™s performance though is an indication of just how much potential this side has.Â They will not settle for just a win, they are in search great performances. That attitude is the sign of a side with enormous potential to do well this season.
Up next for Oakham are Bedford School, a match which takes place tomorrow afternoon. Bedford have been in fine form so far this season after winning most of their previous game against Oakhamâ€™s major rivals Uppingham and Oundle.
Bedford began with an impressive yet stuttering performance in victory over Oundle, but really pulled all of the pieces together as they ran out 44-7 winners at Uppingham. Their set pieces which had faltered slightly on the opening weekend has now, having had more time to work on it, become a weapon from which they launched their final try on Saturday.
Oakham though will be confident too, having lost by a point to a top class Stowe side, and then put forty points on Nottingham, they are a top quality side.
We are all set for a top drawer clash from what looks likes being two of the heavyweights of this years schools.