The 1st XV lost their basement battle with Brighton Blues 8-13 at Gosport Park yesterday and although they picked up their first point of the season at the tenth time of trying, Head Coach Barry Bridgman described both teams and the match itself as "awful" writes Brian Seeney.

Few if any would argue with Bridgman's verdict as both sides showed why they were the bottom two teams and both win-less in London 1 South at the start.

In every game this season, no matter what the final score and there have been some big defeats, Gos have played spells of good, skilful and exciting rugby at times, both home and away.

This was dismal stuff and the fact that they now have one losing bonus point in their account is of little significance.

Small wonder that bottles of champagne were going into the Brighton dressing room after the match because this win will give the Blues the belief that they can escape the relegation zone. Not so Gos.

Bridgman's men trail next week's opponents Dover by four points and Brighton now by seven points with Chiswick the other relegation candidates on nine points.

It will be three from these four that go down because Chobham in tenth spot are surely out sight with 24 points.

"We got a point but we could have had all the points and I'm really upset about it," said Bridgman.

Brighton TimTry WEB

Tim Snowden scores the only Gos try. Photo: Chris Roberts. More pictures in the Photo Gallery shortly.

"We spent too much time and were obsessed with rumbling the ball up front when we had a set of running backs that probably, if given enough ball, would have destroyed Brighton in the end.

"It was very disappointing because we didn't use what we had. There was no lack of effort or guts - it was lack of brain. We didn't think our way through that game at all.

"I did say at half time that we had probably played the worst 40 minutes we've played this season and if we played another 40 minutes like that then we would lose the game when it was there for the winning.

"If we had played that way against some of the other sides this season we would have been (losing) in the hundreds.

"We completely blew it by not doing what we had done in training using our backs.

"As a coach you can't do anything about it because you are stuffed once they (the players) cross the whitewash and they do what they did.

"We battled and battled to no avail. We are wearing ourselves out and it's like waves crashing on the rocks. The forwards battered themselves into a standstill when we didn't need to and the consequence of that was we couldn't hold the scrum in the second half.

"It was awful today and we were awful and the most disappointing part about it was that they were there for the taking and we didn't do it and we could have done.

"That's what is really frustrating because we could have taken them quite easily if we had played the right way and we didn't.

"Brighton were pretty awful but we were awfuller (sic)."

The visitors were leading 0-5 after 17 minutes and acting skipper Tim Snowden was binned on 40 minutes.

Snowden turned from villain to hero scoring his side's try on 71 minutes when he got his hands to the ball when three Brighton players failed in a scramble.

The Blues took the lead again with their second try in the 77th minute and on 82 minutes their penalty took it to 5-15.

Fortunately the referee, about whom Bridgman would be in serious trouble if his thoughts were published here or anywhere else for that matter, found another two and half minutes of time added on.

Tom Lewis, returning after a 10 week absence with a thigh problem that should have precluded him from kicking, stepped up to clinch the bonus point with a penalty from wide out on the left.

After Wayne Dugan had hobbled off again with his recurring thigh problem, there was no one else capable of kicking in the gloom that was both the weather and the game. To see the full back have the confidence and courage to try it and succeed was one of the few (if any) bright spots of an otherwise grim afternoon...


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