RUGBY - Oaklands Insider: So far so good - but a long way to go

Phil Dickin on the attack in Chichester's recent win over Sidcup Picture by Warwick Baker /
Phil Dickin on the attack in Chichester's recent win over Sidcup Picture by Warwick Baker /

The rugby season is now in full swing and the first team went unbeaten over the past month to sit at the top of the league with a couple of points’ lead, writes Oaklands Insider.

However, they are under no illusions about how tough their opponents will be in the winter mud, where, on occasions, the winning team will be the one that can adapt to the conditions.

Game management in rugby, as in most team sports, is crucial for a successful side.

The team visiting Beckenham a couple of weeks ago had the inconvenience of the bus breaking down en route and had to wait for a replacement one to rescue them so they could carry on. Luckily the hosts had an efficient set of floodlights which meant play could start half an hour later than scheduled.

The second team have lost their unbeaten start to the season with a narrow defeat to the team immediately below them. The seconds suffered last season with many of their opponents cancelling at the last moment. This is an area on which the RFU are consulting with the clubs.

The club are pleased the Festival Theatre have disbanded their temporary home and moved back to their normal headquarters. The move back will suit both parties.

The club will have more room on Oaklands Park in an area which is already limited for space. The theatre are back in their rightful home and no longer have to endure the standard rugby player noises from pitchside, which on occasions could be heard on the stage. ‘My ball’ was not an ad-lib by one of the actors.

The mini section of the club held a very successful tournament under the banner of ‘Done by 2’. The aim was to get the games all over by 2pm in order to prevent players and parents hanging around for games. The format proved to be a massive success and the event is now a firm favourite with other clubs.

Away from Oaklands, England are enjoying their traditional Autumn internationals, providing the coaches with the opportunity to give some new players a taste of Test rugby.

There is now one eye firmly on developing a squad for the rugby World Cup, to be held on these shores in 2015. There are several new initiatives being set up by the RFU to try to ensure maximum exposure for the sport and, equally importantly, ensuring a lasting legacy as a result of the tournament being held here. This will bring exciting times for player and spectator alike.


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