Sun 26 Feb 2017, 11:00
Oaks Under 13's welcomed Exeter Chiefs to a wet and windy Horsham Fields. Match was played in four 15 minute quarters.
Exeter kicked to start the match. Oaks defensive pressure caused Exeter to knock on. Each side attacked the other but neither had a score to show for it. Oaks captain Ollie Dunn ran deep into Exeter territory, supported by further carries from Alfie Jenkins before being tackled a few metres short of the try line. Exeter were defending strongly, before Alfie Jenkins crossed to score the first try of the match.
Oaks 5 Exeter Chiefs 0
Exeter replied immediately with a try of their own, Oaks defended resolutely with some good low tackles but Exeter's slick passing and weight of numbers resulted in a try to even the scores.
Oaks 5 Exeter Chiefs 5
Oaks continued to attack, Owen Kerswell with a strong run, sidestepping tackle attempts before another defender stopped him in his tracks. Oaks were showing some brilliant tackles, from Dylan Harbour, Owen Kerswell and a crunching tackle by Stanley Butchart.
Exeter scored to go into the lead, and then to extend it. Oaks struggled to cope with Exeter's runners from deep. Oaks pressured for the remainder of the first quarter but no further scores.
End of first quarter Oaks 5 Exeter Chiefs 15
Oaks opened the second quarter strongly, refusing to let their heads go down. Archie Norman was carrying strongly and was supported by Owen Kerswell.
Alex George was deputising at scrum half in the absence of Christopher Dunstan, was having an influential game, sniffing out opportunities and pressuring his opposite number at their scrum.
Oaks scored to narrow the Exeter lead. Alfie Jenkins notched his second try of the match following a surging run by Luke Doonan who beat several tackles on his way forward.
Oaks 10 Exeter Chiefs 15
Oaks continued to defend resolutely with belting tackles by Finn Morgan, Luke Doonan and Alfie Shore.
Oaks scored again to even the scores, Archie Norman running from deep to score under the posts. Game on!
Oaks 15 Exeter Chiefs 15
Just as the Oaks got the scores level, they conceded two quick tries before the end of the second quarter.
End of 2nd quarter Oaks 15 Exeter Chiefs 25
The third quarter was more attritional than the first two, Oaks continued to pressure but conceded penalties or handling errors at crucial moments.
Ollie Dunn made a try saving tackle to prevent Exeter from extending their lead. More strong tackling from Dylan Harbour, Alex George and Ed Johnson but no scores to report.
End of 3rd quarter Oaks 15 Exeter Chiefs 25
Oaks started the fourth quarter with home support roaring them on, determined to maintain their recent winning streak. More strong tackling from Ted Salisbury and rucking from Stanley Butchart and Finn Morgan.
Archie Norman scored his second try of the game to start the Oaks comeback.
Oaks 20 Exeter Chiefs 25
Oaks continued to attack in search of an equalising score. Carries by Louie Ellison, a driving run by Finn Morgan was continued by Alfie Jenkins.
Louie Ellison tied the scores with a try following a genius offload by Ollie Dunn after drawing a tackle.
Oaks 25 Exeter Chiefs 25
Oaks could smell blood and were searching for a winning score but got hit on the break to concede a try just before the final whistle.
Final Score Oaks 25 Exeter Chiefs 30
This was a really entertaining match, some brilliant rugby played by both sides who can be immensely proud of the performance.
Man of Match - Alex George. He had big boots to fill in the absence of Christopher Dunstan but did this extremely well. Alex kept the ball moving quickly, put some hard tackles in and also took a ball full in the face from the boot of one of his own teammates!