The 1st XV's ninth successive defeat by 62-5 at Sidcup yesterday was "no disgrace for a patched up side" said Head Coach Barry Bridgman, who described the London 1 South leaders as "the most accomplished side we've seen who are very good at what they do" writes Brian Seeney.

"It's funny - you lose 62-5 but it wasn't a disgrace at all for what we thought was a really patched up side going away.

"I think we would have accepted that (result) before we started," said Bridgman.

"Having said that I think the second half showed that had we been able to start the game as we finished it then the result would have been less than 62-5.

"In the first half we didn't really play at all and we let in a couple of soft scores.

"In the second half we pulled it around. We tackled very well and there was one spell of nearly 20 minutes between their scores.

"We managed to get into their half a few times which we didn't achieve in the first half because they spent the entire first half in our half."

Sidcup scored six of their 10 tries (five converted) in the 2nd, 7th, 12th, 24th, 36th and 42nd minutes. The half ended when wing David Cleary took a team yellow card in the 40th minute.

Gos didn't manage to get in to the Sidcup 22 until the 61st minute and within 60 seconds skipper Wes Dugan's quick tap and go penalty brought their one score and the afternoon's final points.

"It was a coach's dream - you say 'when we get into the 22 you must execute and come away with something whether it's three points, five points or seven points'.

"We got into their 22 once and came away with five points so it was a 100% record for getting into the 22 and scoring!" joked Bridgman.

Sidcup's second half scores came from tries in the 41st, 60th, 65th and 67th minutes, the last try converted.

"I think Sidcup are the most accomplished side we have seen and were very good at what they did.

"There were occasions in the first half when they looked like they were just going through their playbook but that may have been the way we were letting them play.

Sidcup Wes try WEB

First attack and a 62nd minute try for skipper Wes Dugan. Photo: Chris Roberts. More pictures in the Photo Gallery.

"There was a lot more pressure put on by us in the second half and they dropped a lot of ball and they were trying a few things that weren't really on.

"They scored one beautiful try in the second half (65 minutes) which was all due to their back-up play. We were tackling really well. I think we made seven tackles in the move and in the end the eighth player went over the line from five metres out so every tackle was an offload but it was a very good piece of play from them.

"As a Coach you don't mind that because everyone was trying, all the tackles went in but Sidcup were very, very good at what they were doing and when you have a try like that scored against you, you just have to stand there and say 'well done'.

"Their pack was extremely good and their timing on the scrummaging was fantastic. They were really together and they just shoved us all afternoon.

"We've not been punished like that in the previous eight games but they certainly made a mess of our scrum today. But in the second half we picked it up a bit and managed to survive a little better.

"The lineout was patchy and we did win some decent ball but again they were pretty good with good jumps and intercepts which caused us to lose some.

"Sidcup are top of the league and deservedly so, but our players weren't disheartened. I think they were all disappointed the way they played in the first half and at half time I said to them it was a turning point now.

"I told them 'you can either turn the season around a bit now if you play well in the second half or you can play like you have been playing and we can give the game away for 90 or a hundred points'.

"I think that the players accepted the challenge and the result was what we saw."

Bridgman was particularly pleased with his three debut makers: "I thought the debutants did very well. I thought Reece Walters was excellent for the whole 80 minutes. He was strong in the tackle, strong ball carrying and didn't go missing anywhere at all. He wasn't overawed by the occasion and could have been when playing the top of the league side. But he wasn't fazed by it one little bit. I'm very, very pleased with that.

"Matt Forfar on the wing played pretty well faced in the first half with Sidcup coming at us all the time on his wing. That was difficult for him.

"Then young Jimmy (Wallis) came on for 20 minutes and didn't do anything wrong. It was good cameo from him. He carried well a couple of times and put in some good tackles."

Gos now have a week's break before they face fellow strugglers Brighton ay Gosport Park after they lost their bottom of the table clash at Dover 24-17.

"Some of our walking wounded should be back by then and it will be a mighty battle," said Bridgman.

 

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