The 1st XV suffered their third successive defeat of the season losing 35-27 against KCS Old Boys yesterday as their long injury list and dismal away record both worsened writes Brian Seeney.

Gos now have 12 players sidelined - split equally between backs and forwards - after Anthony Reynolds went off with concussion yesterday and it is in the pack where the absentees and those who are fit but unavailable are most missed.

With an unavailability list every week that has ceased to be a surprise as it happens so regularly - particularly on away trips - and without an away win since April 2015, it's not hard to see why Gos are now lying seventh in the London 2 South West table.

They are already seven points off the top four slot they were targeting this season and 15 points adrift of joint league leaders Camberley and second placed Old Reigatian in a season that's only five weeks old.

Yesterday, Gos were in touch at 18-13 until KCS scored their third try on the hour for a 25-13 lead which quickly stretched to 32-13 after a series of missed tackles let the home side in for their fourth try bonus point.

Fly half Alex Duncombe's two first half penalties (23 and 36 minutes) had made it 11-6 at the break after a 17th minute KCS penalty and their first try on 44 minutes were followed by a penalty in the seventh minute of time added on.

Seven minutes into the second half, a converted KCS try put them farther in front but the first of two tries from Gos no. 8 Sean Shepherd, both converted by centre Wayne Dugan after Duncombe had hobbled off with an ankle injury, narrowed the deficit to 18-13.

KCS effectively killed off Gos by converting their 60th and 70th minute tries for 32-13 and despite a tap-and-go try from skipper Wes Dugan on 79 minutes and a second burst through the KCS defence from Shepherd in the ninth minute of time added on, both converted by Wayne Dugan, Gos hadn't really looked like they would depart with a bonus point and so it proved.

The final KCS score was an 84th minute penalty which followed a yellow card for Gos prop Nathan Titchener.

"It was close for a while then they pulled away and had the game zipped up," said Gos Head Coach Barry Bridgman.

KCS ShepherdTry WEB

Sean Shepherd scores one of his two tries yesterday. Photo: Chris Roberts. More pictures in the Photo Gallery.

"We did score a couple of tries after that and it was a shame that we couldn't get a bonus point somewhere, either a losing bonus point or a four-try bonus point, because to score just the three tries is a bit galling in 27 points.

"We have more injuries which is yet another setback with another concussion (Reynolds). The injury list is just mounting and mounting at the moment.

"This side (KCS) were there for the beating. But we let them do what they wanted to do running the ball. Our contact was poor until the last 15 minutes when we were carrying well. Maybe they (KCS) relaxed a little bit, I don't know....

"We didn't start well, we didn't contest the kick offs and the kick chase was poor. We were lackadaisical. It took quite a while to settle in the scrum but once we settled we were OK.

"We are playing with a different side every week and some people are just turning up and in this league it's not enough to just turn up and play until the end. We should be winning games in this league not just rocking up and saying 'we are good just because we play till the end'. It's just not good enough and we are far better than that.

"We won two games in the league above last season and now we've just lost three in a row against opposition that I consider are teams that were there for the beating.

"Now we are at the wrong end of the table already which is mainly down to injuries and missing key players.

"But we are not fast enough around the park and we are suffering in the pack with injuries. We could pick almost an entirely different pack than we put out today."

Next up for Gos is their toughest game of the season so far - a Hampshire Cup quarter-final at Havant next Saturday which Bridgman admits is "a game we could do without" against a side that are in-form and fourth in London 1 South division.

"I don't think that game is going to do us any good at all and I don't think we are going to be able to do ourselves justice in that game with the amount of injuries we've got.

"It's also worrying as far as the rest of the league is concerned because if we pick up more injuries next week then what will we do when we come to the league game the following week against Farnham at home?"

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