Slim margin of defeat but still a feeling they could have done better
- Sunday, 12 February 2017
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.
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.