McRoberts wants cup final mentality

Wes Dugan Picture: Roger Smith
Wes Dugan Picture: Roger Smith
Gosport & Fareham coach Barry Bridgman    Picture: Neil Marshall

Rested Gosport ready to roll

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Coach Neil McRoberts has urged Gosport & Fareham to adopt a cup final mentality in their bid to stay in London one south.

The Blue & Golds host Medway at Gosport Park needing points in their attempt to climb out of the bottom three.

They have five games remaining in which to overhaul closest rivals Dover, who are four points ahead of them.

‘We must be looking to get more points on the board before the final couple of games,’ said McRoberts.

‘This is a massive game for us and we have to adopt a cup final mentality.

‘It is looking increasingly likely that it will be us or Dover finishing in the bottom three and we want to make sure that it isn’t us.

‘Medway will be tough but we have to see it as an opportunity to make up ground.

‘Although we lost the last two games, our performances have been excellent and if we can build on them it will give us a good chance.’

Medway arrive on the south coast with the threat of relegation also hanging over them following player registration problems.

The fourth-placed club are appealing the decision of the Rugby Football Union to punish them at the end of the season.

If their appeal fails it could provide a reprieve for Dover or Gosport & Fareham, although neither intend relying on that for safety.

Medway have not allowed their off-field problems to affect their performances and still pose a massive threat to the home side.

McRoberts has also lost two of his key players for the next couple of games at least, after the Dugan brothers – Wayne and Wes – were sent off in the Tottonians defeat.

The powerful pair have been suspended by the club ahead of a Hampshire RFU disciplinary hearing.

Both have been permanent fixtures in the team and extremely influential over the years.

Shaun Taylor steps up into the scrum-half berth and provides a different style of service, with a focus on distributing the ball around the park.

Sam Foster will move from full-back to partner Max Boyce in the centre, with Kieron McRoberts continuing at outside-half.

‘The Dugans would be a big loss to any team but, fortunately, we are in a period where more players are becoming available,’ added McRoberts.

‘The changes we have made make sure that we continue to field a strong midfield department.

‘One of the things we have improved is the way we start games and we will need to do the same against Medway.

‘At their place we gave them a lot of cheap points early on and weren’t able to recover.

‘We will have to be tight, grow our game and, when the opportunity comes, get on the front foot.’

Gosport & Fareham: Jack Brawn, Rory Penfold, Sam Foster,

Max Boyce, Levi Hui Hui, Kieron McRoberts, Shaun Taylor,

Danny Gamblin, Caleb Kingi, Ben Lanigan, Ben Roberts, Max Page, Ben Madigan, Tim Snowden, Chris Thompson. Replacements: Freddie O’Toole, Daz Willey, David Cleary