Oaks made the trip to league newcomers Withernsea on Saturday on a crisp, bright winter’s day.
Having waited six weeks for a league fixture a full strength squad blew away the cobwebs within two minutes as a rolling maul allowed hooker Stavros Kontou to feed winger Ben Collar in the corner. Kontou was over himself soon afterwards from another maul with scrum half Kelvin Charles converting both.
A very scrappy period followed with a glut of knock-ons and Withernsea looking particularly threatening when returning kicks. Oaks weathered the storm though, and took control again, allowing number eight Aled Vaughan to muscle over from the back of a dominant Oaks scrum.
21-0 the half time score, and some powerful running at the beginning of the second half soon put centre Rob Trickey in for the bonus point score. An almost identical try was scored a few minutes later when winger Ali Steadman ran in unopposed from the 22m line.
Withernsea didn’t give up, and against a less resolute defence may have scored a few tries themselves. Some bone-crunching tackles from the re-jigged back row of Gio Petrucci, Samuel Sumner and Andrew Fletcher put an end to any comeback hopes the hosts may have had.
Once the threat was extinguished the Oaks dominated possession again which led to two more tries – the pick of which was a second for winger Ben Collar after some neat hands from fly half Lawrence Canham. Oaks were good value for their seven tries, but a final score of 45-0 was a little harsh on the enthusiastic hosts who’ve been one of the more enjoyable teams to play this season.
The 2s were also away at Rotherham Phoenix 2s in a very competitive match. A tale of who could take their chances best left them down 26-7 at the final whistle after a late penalty try. Plenty to build on though, and a good start to 2017 for the club.