The 1st XV crashed to a 47-0 defeat in the opening game at Sevenoaks yesterday where it was plain to see that they face a real battle to survive in London 1 South this season writes Brian Seeney.

Having limited a lively Oaks team to only 14-0 by half-time against a strong wind, Gos then conceded two tries and a conversion in the four minutes immediately after the break - one a gift for an interception score - and the game was gone.

It was then only a matter of how many points the division's new boys could rack up against a side without retired stalwarts Chris Thompson and Mark Pollard and several others who have moved on, were unavailable or injured.

The defeat was the biggest losing margin of the day so Gos start the campaign bottom of the table with the day's other four losers.

Gos managed only two incursions into the opposition's 22 in the first 40 minutes and conceded converted tries in the 7th and 15th minutes.

As long as Oaks could get away with it they were happy to concede penalty after penalty at the breakdown. When they weren't doing that they made life very difficult in both scrum and lineout for Gos, only paying for their transgressions so late on in the game when two Oaks men saw yellow that it couldn't influence the final result.

Gos hardly threatened the Oaks line in the second half and paid dearly for two yellow cards - the first for number 8 Ben Roberts (54 minutes) was unfortunate but the second for centre Wayne Dugan seven minutes later was unforgiveable.

"We were undoubtedly beaten by a better side. They were faster in thought and deed and we didn't play well at all," said a clearly disappointed new Head Coach Barry Bridgman.


As close as it got - Ash Wakefield is stopped short of the Sevenoaks try line. Photo: Chris Roberts. More pictures in the Photo Gallery.

"I think we panicked and reverted to patterns and things that the team had been playing previously.

"We had said in training we were going to do things differently and I think they players panicked in the first 5 or 10 minutes and it didn't turn out differently at all.

"So it's back to the drawing board on Tuesday and Thursday trying to enforce what we agreed we would do in the summer that we spent a lot of time doing (in pre-season) and then failed spectacularly to do on the first Saturday afternoon.

"At half time and 14-0 down I was quite comfortable even though we hadn't really ventured much into their half.

"I thought with the wind we would improve after the half-time talk when we'd pointed out the deficiencies and things that we could be better at.

"But that didn't happen. They got two tries in the first four minutes (after the interval) and that sank the ship.

"We lost 14 points whilst we had the two yellow cards off - one was a team yellow for a high tackle that stopped a try and we were lucky (because) it could have been a penalty try and funnily enough the conversion was missed.

"I have no argument either with the other one because the referee wasn't going to have any backchat and he had made that quite clear.

"As a team we have got to learn not to intervene (with the referee). You can't afford to give so many points to a team because you have got two players off the park.

"A 26-0 defeat would have better than a 47-0 defeat but we didn't get a sniff today."

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