Brave Oaks exit the county cup
Oakham RFC were knocked out of the Leicestershire Senior Cup by Leicester Forest on Saturday as their tough start to the season continues.
A depleted Oaks side, featuring several second team players, were beaten 57-27 at Forest.
From the outset it was apparent Oakham were going to have a difficult afternoon in the scrum with Leicester Forest dominating and pushing the Oakham eight around almost at will. Forest were awarded an early penalty from a scrum infringement , kicked to touch and from the lineout made several drives towards the Oakham line finally resulting in their prop crashing over from close range. The try was converted for 7-0.
Oakham responded in great style with a break by Ollie Booth from a slick inside pass from Nick Wackwitz allowing Oakham to camp on the Forest try line. After a lineout Andrew Wallace went over from close range the try was converted 7-7 with eight minutes played.
Oakham set-up a series of attacks with Will Armstrong coming into the line and unlucky not to score. Leicester infringed at the breakdown and the resulting penalty kick was well struck by Wackwitz to give Oakham the lead 7-10.
This was not to last long as Oakham were penalised again at the scrum and from halfway Forest landed the long range penalty to make it 10-10 with 15 minutes played. Oakham were starting to struggle in the rucks as Forest again turned Oakham ball over and gaining in confidence their backs set up a well worked try which was converted 17-10.
From the ensuing kick – off Oakham were awarded a scrum but were shunted off the ball with the referee again penalising Oakham. Forest kicked to touch 20m from Oakham’s line. The lineout was stolen by Oakham but Forest turned them over in the ensuing breakdown, spun the ball wide and scored in the corner. It was well converted from the touchline for 24-10.
Undeterred Oakham broke into the forest 22 with Callum Crellin taking a quick tap penalty and making inroads into the Forest defence before offloading to Will Armstrong who side stepped several would be tacklers before crossing the line for a try. Converted by Wackwitz 24-17.
The referee was starting to penalise Forest at the breakdown as they came under increasing pressure from a rejuvenated Oakham pack. Finally losing patience and sending a Forest player to the bin. From the resulting penalty Oakham closed the score to 24-20 just before the half time whistle.
The second half followed a similar pattern with Forest dominating the scrums and Oakham struggling to get their hands on the ball. Oakham looked dangerous whenever they did get ball and following a promising move after another break by Will Armstrong they saw it breakdown when Forest ripped the ball off an Oakham player, kicked up field and after a couple of quick rucks scored a try against the run of play, again converted from near the touchline 31-20.
This seemed to galvanise Forest and they forced Oakham onto the defensive with a series of drives sucking in the Oakham defence before spinning the ball wide only to knocked on. The ensuing scrum saw Oakham again turned and lose the ball. Forest scored near to the posts again converted 38-20. With Forest using their full complement of five replacements Oakham were looking a weary side having travelled with just fifteen players - despite this they rallied again and set up a scrum near to the Forest line resulting in and Oakham penalty. Callum Crellin seized the opportunity to tap and go; side stepped his way through and scored a very good individual try which was converted to close the score to 38-27.
Oakham were still in the game and continued to attack whenever they had the ball but the ease with which Forest were regaining possession and their dominance in the forwards was taking its toll. Forest scored again, strolling through the Oakham defence after some alledged blocking when missed by the referee.
From the ensuing kick-off the Forest number eight broke through attempted tackles and from the ensuing ruck Forest strolled over again for 50-27.
As Forest scored again Oakham were down to 13 players with Ryan Corner and Andrew Wallace leaving the field injured. The referee stopped the game six minutes early with final score at 57-27.