News Archive

Slim margin of defeat but still a feeling they could have done better

Despite the 1st XV losing by one of the smallest margins of the season to fifth placed Cobham yesterday, Head Coach Barry Bridgman said he and his players all felt they "didn't do themselves justice" going down 18-39 in front of a sparse crowd at a very chilly Gosport Park writes Brian Seeney.

"All the boys are disappointed because we could have done a lot better than we did. We scored 18 points and played far better in spells than we've done in many games but they were such short spells that we couldn't bolt it together," said Bridgman.

"I thought our first 20 minutes was pretty good. We scored first and were looking good and cooking on gas.

"I think the disappointing part about today, and everybody is feeling the same, was our tackling. Our tackle line wasn't up quick enough, we gave them far too much respect when they were running at us and gave them far too much space and far too much time on the ball.

"I don't think we did ourselves justice out there but we could have let them score a lot more as we've done in previous games.

"In the first half we let in a really soft score missing five or six tackles and a couple of tries that we let in were dreadful.

"The positive is that everybody is so disappointed that they lost when we've been hammered by far higher scores (this season) and not been quite so disappointed about it.

"That is a positive when you think about some of the big margins we've lost by this season.

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Tunnel vision - action from yesterday's defeat. Photo: Shaun Jones. More pictures in the Photo Gallery.

"I was really pleased with the way some people played, especially Will Larkin who scored a very good try. But other people didn't do so well and they know that.

"The players said several times in the circle (after the final whistle) that they need to give themselves a good talking to as individuals because of the things they could have done better today."

Gos started in style with a fine try from no. 7 Larkin after just four minutes when he burst through at speed in to the line and full back Tom Lewis converted.

Within three minutes Cobham had a penalty success but three minutes after that Lewis cancelled it out for 10-3.

Gos were then undone by conceding three tries in 10 minutes with one converted and it was suddenly 10-20 after 33 minutes.

Lewis landed his third successful kick on 39 minutes for 13-20 at the break.

Three minutes into the second half, centre Wayne Dugan's try brought it to 18-20 but once again Gos conceded three quick tries, this time in only eight minutes, and it was 18-39 and game over after 57 minutes.

However some sterling defence saw first Rory Penfold then Lewis stop what looked like being certain tries and a minute before the end, Gos held up Cobham over the try line.

In those final 11 minutes, Gos denied Cobham another big score because they refused to crumble like they have done late on in many games this season and the scoreline looked more than respectable.

In the John Sneezum Cup, there was a sweet taste of victory for Gos Vets who beat Portsmouth Vets 21-28 at Rugby Camp in the semi-final of the County Vets' competition.

Gos will face Havant in the Final on Saturday 1th March at a venue to be decided after Havant won 10-32 at Andover.

In the money

The December winners of the Monthly Draw have been named.

They are: £100 M. Camp, £30 Mrs. S. Foulger, £20 A. Knight, £15 P. Wilkinson, £10 Mrs. J. Squire.

Find out more about how you can win cash prizes in the Monthly Draw section of this website or pick up an Application Form from the Clubhouse.


Elite duo kept on

Two of our Under 14 players have been chosen to remain in the Hampshire Elite Player Training programme.

Following a series of trials, William Hosell (left) and Ethan Hammond have both been invited to remain in the Squad.


Huffing and puffing to another defeat

After a reasonable first half performance by the 1st XV, CS Rugby 1863 ran away with the game 50-5 scoring five more tries at Chiswick yesterday with Head Coach Barry Bridgman saying his side "huffed and puffed to no avail" writes Brian Seeney.

Trailing 17-5 at the break, Gos conceded a converted try 15 minutes into the second half and then the floodgates opened and the game ended in a 16th defeat of the season.

"We didn't start too badly and although they managed to score three tries in the first half, I thought they were pretty soft tries to give away but I thought we were coping with that," said Bridgman.

"We got it wrong in the first half when we played with the wind at our backs and didn't kick enough for field position.

"But we were still in at 17-5 and I said so at half time. The next score mattered and unfortunately it was their score and then they just ran away with it.

"We did our usual bit of (conceding) three tries in quick succession (five minutes) and we shipped most of those points in the last 20 minutes. I think conceding 33 points in the second half was a very poor return."

From their first attack of the afternoon, CS chose to kick to the corner rather than go for the easy shot at the posts and that made it 7-0 after nine minutes.

Gos narrowed that gap within two minutes when skipper Wes Dugan's kick over the top was chased by prop Dan Gamblin - is he really that quick or was he ever so slightly in front of the kicker? It mattered not and it was 7-5.

CS were held up on 25 minutes but then scored two unconverted tries in the 25th and 31st minutes.

Then the home side scored five second half tries after 55, 67, 69, 73 and 89 minutes, the first four of these were converted.

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Dan Gamblin scores the only Gos try yesterday. Photo: Chris Roberts. More pictures in the Photo Gallery shortly.

Bridgman was anxious that after last week's first win against Chiswick, Gos continued to show some progress and he believes they did despite the final scoreline.

"I don't think it was a step backwards because some of the processes worked quite well," he said.

"Our scrum worked well but we spent far far too long expending our energy going sideways, trying to find spaces that just weren't there and we desperately needed to come on to the ball fast and be more direct.

"I think they defended very well and were very quick out of the blocks. We didn't recognise that because we should have been chipping over the top or grubber kicking through them into the masses of space behind their defensive line.

"They were probably offside a few fair times but weren't pinged for that. However you have to live with that and I think we played that quite poorly.

"We huffed and puffed to no avail most of the time and that was disappointing when we were continually going sideways, going through six or even eight phases very often, but we didn't achieve anything and didn't make ground.

"We didn't play anywhere near as well as we played against Havant and they weren't anywhere near the side that Havant are. Yet we shipped fewer points against Havant (0-36) than we did against CS.

"The one shining light for us today was the scrum which was really good and went well.

"The lineout was a lottery - we are not any worse at throwing and not any worse at jumping but we don't seem to be making the right decisions."

Gos now have a free Saturday next weekend which "gives the players a bit of a rest because we picked up a few niggles today" said Bridgman.

They resume league action against Cobham on 11th February at Gosport Park.

Everyone's a winner - at last

The 1st XV got their first win of the season beating Chiswick 25-15 at Gosport Park yesterday which Head Coach Barry Bridgman described as "a real pleasure" and "thoroughly deserved" writes Brian Seeney.

Gos came from behind by reversing a 10 point deficit at 5-15, then centre Wayne Dugan danced and jinked his way through the Chiswick defence in the 70th minute for the winning try.

Full back Tom Lewis converted then added a penalty two minutes into the four-and-a-half minutes of time added on, to seal their first victory for a year and 12 days.

It was a triumph earned by every one of the 18 players on duty and after some terrible trouncings this season, the joy and relief of a win at last could be seen on the faces of every player, all the coaching staff and not least, the Gosport Park crowd.

"It's a real pleasure to get the first win of the season having taken 17 goes to achieve it," said a delighted Bridgman.

"It's at home which is a really good thing because although we want to get the away (win) monkey off our backs, if you are going to get your first win you might as well do it in front of your home crowd.

"I thought we thoroughly deserved it. We battled all afternoon as is usual. We battle every week but this week we had something to battle for.

"It was a good win and hard fought. I thought our tackling was immense and most of the afternoon we tackled really well. We missed a few (tackles) but we managed to scramble back a lot of the time."

In the opening 11 minutes, Gos weathered a predictable Chiswick onslaught from a side fighting to get put more space between themselves and the bottom three teams - Gos who are bottom but now with five points and Brighton and Dover on 11 points apiece.

Twice the visitors were over the try line and held up early on and although Chiswick eventually took the lead with a 15th minute penalty, skipper Wes Dugan put Gos ahead in the 25th minute with one of his typical tap and go tries.

The visitors regained the lead with a 38th minute try then stretched their advantage seven minutes into the second half to 5-15.


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Dugan does it - Wayne cllnches victory with the third Gos try yesterday. Photo: Chris Roberts. More pictures in the Photo Gallery later.

This is when Gos could easily have crumbled but they fought back for a second time, Lewis slotting a 23 metre penalty from in front of the posts on 56 minutes when he could easily have let the pressure of the kick get to him.

On 61 minutes Wes Dugan got his second try which Lewis improved and it was 15-15 until Wayne Dugan crossed the try line after dancing one then another with three defenders still hanging on to him in vain.

"They were two typical Wesley tries. Wayne's was an excellent try - a lovely try," continued Bridgman.

"I thought we wasted a couple of chances in the first half when we could have scored and it would have been nice if we had put one of them away and got the bonus point as well.

"And if I was going to be hypercritical we didn't get the ball to our wings enough.

"But Tom Lewis had a really good game and was superb at full back and full praise to Will Larkin in his first full game because he played really, really well when he hasn't got the experience at this level. He did what a seven should do - always on the ball, tackling and being annoying.

"I think Chunk (Daniel O'Donoghue) had a terrific game - he grafted all afternoon and effected two really good turnovers.

"It's a happy changing room and relief to win. In my speech before the game I told them they deserved a win and said it's about time you went out and got one because this is the best chance you've had in a long time to really nail one.

"We knew we had to play like we did against Havant and we managed to shut Chiswick down for a lot of the time although we did have a few slips and lapses.

"When you are a player and you keep losing and you keep dragging yourself along to training, which they've done admirably even in the depths of winter, then because you stick at it and you do that, you keep going.

"They've been banging their heads against a wall all season looking for a win and now that stops because they've got it. This first win means an awful lot to the boys and a lot to me."

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