Oaks are confident of victory in Melton derby

Oakham's Mark Matthews     Photo: MSMP201012-078js
Oakham's Mark Matthews Photo: MSMP201012-078js
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Oakham have moved up to fifth in the table, ahead of one the club’s most eagerly-awaited ties of the season - Melton Mowbray at home.

The Oaks won 29-10 away against Nottingham Casuals in the Midlands 2 East (North) on Saturday - the first time that they have claimed back-to-back victories this season - and player-coach Tom Armstrong is bullish about taking on the club’s biggest rivals.

Armstrong said: “It will be a huge game for both clubs.

“They have a big pack but if we play our normal game I would like to think we can get a big score.”

Melton have been joined by Adam Copperwheat, who coached Oakham last season and Armstrong added: “It would be great to get one over Adam.”

After beating league leaders Coalville a week earlier, Oakham were rarely tested on Saturday. They ran in five tries for another bonus point and only allowed their backline to be breached once.

“We still did not play as well as we could have done,” said Armstrong.

“We played well in parts but people relaxed after scoring a couple of times and didn’t respond when the opposition had good spells.”

Angus Boyle opened the scoring, peeling off the back of a line-out to score, and Mark Matthews kicked the conversion.

Will Armstrong collected Adam Stimson’s chipped ball to touch down Oakham’s second try before Casuals successfully kicked a penalty after a couple of missed attempts.

The Oaks pulled further ahead when Svend Larsen rounded off an overlap on the wing to give Oakham a 17-3 half-time lead.

Casuals took advantage of missed tackles to reduce the deficit with a well-taken try after the break but Oakham’s player-coach ran half the length of the pitch to add number four.

Matthews converted for the second time in the afternoon and he rounded off the scoring by adding Oakham’s fifth, chipping and collecting the ball to run in and open up a wide lead.

Saturday’s match against Melton starts at 2.15pm at the Showground where the Oaks will be without the injured Ryan Coner and Adam Varley. Adam Stimson is also doubtful.

Rhys Grieve is available, posing a selection dilemma for Armstrong who added: “It’s hard to change a winning team.”

Oaks: Adam Price (c), Alun Matthews (Martyn Stimson), Kawai Cheung, Phil Gant, James Beanland (Pete Woolston), Carel Fourie, James Cooper, Angus Boyle, Corey Archard (Ollie Easson), Mark Matthews, Adam Stimson, Tom Armstrong, Tom Burton, Svend Larsen, Will Armstrong.