The 1st XV scored their first try bonus point win of the season beating Eastleigh 32-27 at Gosport Park yesterday to take third place in the London 2 South West table but let in two late tries to allow the visitors to take home two bonus points as well writes Brian Seeney.

In the end it came down to kickers - fly half Alex Duncombe landed two penalties and three conversions - one from the touchline - and Eastleigh's kicker let Gos off the hook failing with two early second half penalties in 10 minutes, one of which was a bad miss in the 46th minute.

The two sides exchanged penalties after nine and 12 minutes but once Gos took the lead in the 18th minute, they never lost it and never really looked like doing so.

In the 18th minute the Gos pack pushed Eastleigh off their own put-in and the advance towards the try line ended with no. 8 Ben Madigan having the simplest of tasks to score the try on his return after a season being unavailable.

Duncombe's fine kick from wide out was followed by his conversion of hooker Sean Shepherd's burst through the line for the second try after 27 minutes, which was reminiscent of his early days in the 1st XV.

At 17-3, Eastleigh took advantage of Sam Foster's trip to the sin bin with their first try on 36 minutes but the conversion was missed and the assured Duncombe made it 20-8 within two minutes.

Eastleigh narrowed the deficit to 20-15 with a converted try in the 40th minute and had a man in the sin bin when scrum half Wes Dugan got his second try in successive weeks, Duncombe kicking successfully once again for 27-15 at the break.

In a lacklustre second half, prop Dan Gamblin was binned on the hour but the best Gos try came on 71 minutes. They turned the ball over on their own 22 and it went through hands before centre Wayne Dugan, with plenty to do from outside the Eastleigh 22, powered over.

Then Gos got sloppy and 76th and 87th minute tries, the last converted, meant Eastleigh took home two bonus points.

"We are a bit disappointed but that (last try) was my fault because we had a penalty on the half way line and I should probably have just kicked it out and it would have finished the game," confessed skipper Wes Dugan.

"I decided to tap and go and run it in but they got the ball back and scored so I take the blame for that.

East WesTryWEB

A try for Wes Dugan yesterday for the second successive week. Photo: Chris Roberts. More pictures in the Photo Gallery later.

"That doesn't take anything away from the performance though, because we performed really well especially in our set pieces which were really good and gave us a platform.

"We struggled last week in the scrum against Winchester but we heard that Eastleigh had a good scrum so both training sessions for the forwards in the week were on the scrum machine.

"That helped us knowing they would come with a strong pack but we still managed to get the upper hand.

"They are a good club on the up and once they settle into this league and find the pace like we had to when we came up into this league a few years ago then they'll be fine because they are not a bad outfit.

"I think they are a local club like us where there are local lads who've grown up with each other and played together and that's good.

"It's always nice to score tries and we are trying to play a style of running rugby.

"We played well in the first half and we had a chat at half-time and we all thought we could play better because it was quiet a slow pace game up till then. We knew we could step it up but we didn't seem to be able to hold on to the ball. Our ball retention was pretty poor in the first 20 minutes of the second half and the game died off a bit and actually got slower.

"But we got four tries and that's what matters.

"I think the build up to the fourth try was good because Wayne had a lot to do and few players to beat.

"But credit where it's due he did really well to score it. His footwork is unreal and he will step you in a phone box. He's always been a great finisher and I think we will get a lot of tries out of him this season.

"For me it was a good performance all round."

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