News Archive

Academy honour for Harvey

Gosport & Fareham youngster Harvey Field, who started playing rugby in our Mini/Youth Under 7s, was in the London Irish Under 15 Rugby Academy team when they beat Worcester last month writes Brian Seeney.

He was part of a squad of 28 players selected from across Hampshire and Berkshire.

Harvey (pictured)  is already a member of the London Irish Bronze Academy.

"He attended the game in full school uniform as instructed by London Irish. It was great to see a local Cams Hills blazer amongst all the private school blazers that were there," said Harvey's proud father Shane.

Harvey Field WEB

Fate is sealed

The 1st XV's mathematical and highly unlikely chance of avoiding relegation has now gone after yesterday's 38-0 defeat at Brighton - their 22nd loss of the season and the sixth time they have failed to score in all competitions writes Brian Seeney.

In many ways it was a day that summed up their entire season - late withdrawals from the team picked on Thursday night and subsequent reshuffling of a starting list which in itself was a characterised by a number of injured and unavailable players.

Then in the game, the loss of fly half Kieran McRoberts and prop Dan Gamblin was yet another impediment as was the failure to turn pressure into points. Yet despite all this there was still the commitment and effort to the last that characterises this team.

It proved yet again that you can kick a man when he's down (and a team too) - and they are down - but there is relegation with pride and honour and this was it.

"Mathematically the inevitable has happened," Head Coach Barry Bridgman told me after the game.

"I suppose before today there was a glimmer of hope - no there wasn't!

"We've known now for a long time and it hasn't altered our thinking from match day to match day.

"We have still been trying to do the same things and get the players better and really we are preparing for next season already.

"The players have hopefully been on a learning curve - a very steep one - but hopefully that will stand us in good stead for next season.

"Because of the people we've not had available we've managed to blood some really good youngsters and one of them at least today showed how good a prospect he is. Young Joe Collard was mine and several other people's man of the match.

"I thought he was superb today and played well on the wing and then at full back where it is a lonely place to be when you have an opposition that are running at you hard and scoring tries.

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The eyes have it - Joe Collard (left) who was 'man-of-the-match' at Brighton yesterday. Photo: Chris Roberts. More pictures in the Photo Gallery now. 

"He was under a lot of high ball and I think he slipped up with one that was all. His tackling was good and he ran well when he had a chance.

"One of the saddest parts of the day was that we had quite a bit of pressure and we couldn't convert any of it into a score.

"We were on their line pounding their line for 12 minutes and then came a breakaway score and that was heart-breaking and pretty bad.

"Then it took them another 20 minutes or so to score the next one which was a really soft score and we didn't need that.

"We spurned chances to kick for goal because we really didn't have a kicker today so we had to do that and again we had lineout drives close to their line and we were thwarted. We tried to drive forwards over the line too much when we should have spun the ball wide.

"The second half was a repeat of the first half and we camped on their line but again would not spin the ball wide when we might not have scored, but we would have given ourselves a better chance of scoring.

"Brighton did defend well but our options were very limited and our focus was too narrow and we patently weren't going to score. We were our own worst enemy by not scoring and not taking our chances.

"I felt we could have had three or four scores at least and for execution of possible scoring chances we butchered them all and that is not going to win you games and is not going to even get you close.

"Our scrum was going backwards at a rate of knots some times and we were annihilated up front.

Brighton's first score was came on 13 minutes after constant Gos pressure then a converted try on 32 minutes took them 12-0 ahead into the break.

Five minutes into the second half a converted penalty try made it 19-0 and even after a 54th minute yellow card, they still kept Gos out whilst adding their fourth try. Two more converted tries followed in the 69th and 77th minutes.

"The one good thing from my point of view is that they boys gave everything and they were totally exhausted when they came off the field. It was a tough game," said Bridgman.

In the Hampshire Vets' Cup Final against Havant at Hooks Lane yesterday, Gos Vets lost to the home side 22-17.

Thanks Dan

Former 1st XV player Dan Turner is the sponsor of the Match Ball for this Saturday's 1st XV game against Sidcup.

Dan, who is a personal fitness instructor and has set up Elements! Military Fitness, is pictured with 1st XV forward Tim Snowden who is also a personal fitness trainer.

Tim presented Dan with a signed match day ball as thanks for his sponsorship.

Match Ball sponsors have their photo taken with a 1st XV player which is published on this website and on the club's Facebook page to acknowledge their support.

Sponsors also receive a match ball signed by the 1st XV.

The cost of sponsorship is a minimum £50 although sponsors can give a bigger sum if they wish!

You can sponsor as a business, an individual or share the cost as a group of friends.

If you would like to support this scheme please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

with your name and contact details and confirm the amount you are willing to pay for any of our home fixtures this season.

DanTurnerBall WEB

Words & photo: Brian Seeney

For worse for better

The 1st XV lost 0-77 at home to league leaders Sidcup yesterday after a first half that Head Coach Barry Bridgman described as "embarrassing" and a second half that he felt was "much, much better" writes Brian Seeney.

Sidcup were 0-46 ahead after scoring eight tries and converting three of them in the first half when Bridgman delivered "a few harsh words" in the half-time huddle.

"I thought we let ourselves down badly in the first half. It seemed the last two weeks of training had been a total waste of time and what we talked about in the dressing room, the plans for the game and they way we were going to play the game just all evaporated the moment we crossed the whitewash.

"Everything seemed to disappear. We were trying to run out of our own 22 when we should have been clearing the ball to get it into touch and get rid of it and not try to run from our own 22 when we were with the wind.

"We knew we were in for a hell of a battle with them physically and what was the point of trying to run out of the 22 when you had the wind behind you? You clear the ball and we clearly didn't do that.

"Then we had the ball roughly on the half way line and we decided to kick the ball for a wing to run on to and it was just nonsense kick and they collected it and ran it back at us.

"Our tackling was soft especially up through the middle where we were missing tackles, falling off tackles and people were caught out of position and Sidcup were running through huge gaps.

"Quite honestly I thought the first half was embarrassing. I think it was the worst half of rugby we've had this season. It was extremely poor.

"I expected a lot more and felt we could have played a lot better. At half-time I got really cross and told them what I thought about it."


Sidcup GamblinPage WEB

In the thick of it - Max Page (left) and Dan Gamblin against Sidcup. Photo: Chris Roberts. More pictures in the Photo Gallery shortly.

In the second half, Gos improved although they conceded a further five tries (three converted).

"I think they decided amongst themselves that I was probably right and that they ought to shape up a bit and in the second half we played much, much better," said Bridgman.

"We went 25 minutes without a score and had we played the way we planned to play - the way we talked about playing - and remember that's not me that's them buying in (to that plan), I think the score would have been far lower.

"Sidcup are a good outfit but they seemed to slack off in the second half. But then they got their heads together and realised they were going a bit soft and that they needed to get some points back.

"It is disappointing in a way that we lost 62-5 up there and we were 20 points worse today although we didn't have as strong a team today as we did up there.

"But there are no excuses, no hiding place because these players are the ones that decided they would buy into what I was telling them and what we should be doing and then to not execute that at all I found was really disappointing and frustrating.

"The backline didn't have lot of opportunities and the scrum was getting pushed all over the place.

"However we did improve in the second half. Our tackling got better and we ran the ball with purpose a couple of times.

"Out of all of this the positives are that Elliott (McMullen) stood out for his tackling and he and Will (Larkin) only missed one tackle each all afternoon which is great when you have youngsters like that coming through.

"I thought Anthony Reynolds carried the ball well and Simon Trivett carried a lot more than usual and those carries were good and that was pleasing.

"So it is not all gloom and doom but it is very disappointing when you play like that."

Blown away

The 1st XV's hopes of reaching the Hampshire Cup Final were blown away by Havant at windy Gosport Park yesterday in a six try semi-final second half blitz that brought the visitors a convincing 13-52 victory writes Brian Seeney.

Playing with the strong wind behind them, Gos lead thanks to the boot of centre Wayne Dugan who looked confident kicking penalties after just four and six minutes .

But Havant's first foray into the Gos half brought them their first converted try and their second attack three minutes later brought their second try although Gos supporters on the far side of the pitch say the scorer clearly had a foot in touch.

No. 8 Tim Snowden crossed for Gos in the 36th minute, Dugan converting, but it was obvious that 13-12 at the break with the wind was never going to be enough playing against the wind and so it proved.

Havant showed the form that has taken them to second place and a likely promotion play-off spot in London 1 South.

The gulf between second and bottom of the league where Gos sit clearly showed after the break as Havant ran in tries in the 41st, 44th, 48th, 59th, 65th (penalty try) and 74th minutes - all converted except for the first of these.

"I thought the first half was quite good," said Gos Head Coach Barry Bridgman.

"We spoke about playing the conditions and I think we played them reasonably well.

"We could have kicked for territory a few more times but generally we played quite well.

"I think it helped to get the two early penalties and the try not long before half time and then to turn around 13-12.

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Try time for Tim Snowden who gave Gos a half-time lead yesterday. Photo: Chris Roberts. More pictures in the Photo Gallery shortly.

"We tackled well - mostly - when there were glimpses of what Havant could do if we let them.

"Unfortunately we lost that very early first score in the second half and then we did the 'three tries in 15 minutes scenario'.

"That was game gone because there was no way we were going to come back from that and to be fair we played very little of it in their half in the second half.

"Havant didn't kick a lot for territory because they didn't need to because they had good enough runners.

"I think we should have scored twice in the second half and we butchered both chances so it was disappointing that we didn't get another 10 points at least.

"They got two tries that weren't tries but they are on the scoreboard and there is nothing we can do about that.

"We went well in the scrum in the first half but Havant changed their prop and that stopped in the second half. Then I had to make changes and we lost our shape.

"Overall I was pleased with a few of the performances but we let ourselves down with tackles at times.

"But I think we tackled on a consistent basis more than we have in most of our previous games and certainly better than we did against Chobham.

"If we had played like that at Chobham we wouldn't have lost by anywhere near as many points and might not have even lost."

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