Pickett’s joy as Gosport & Fareham win derby

Gosport & Fareham coach Simon Pickett, right. Picture: Neil Marshall (171124-406)

Gosport & Fareham maintained their fine start in London two south west with a 32-27 bonus-point derby win over Eastleigh at Gosport Park.

Simon Pickett was pleased to get another win under the belt after last season’s relegation.

‘It was another good win for us, though still not the rounded performance we need,’ said the coach.

‘But after the problems of the past two seasons, we can’t grumble.

‘Our set-piece play was a lot stronger and we dominated in that area.

‘All the hard work we put in during training this week appeared to pay off.

‘At times we played some really good rugby going through the phases.’

The two teams traded penalty goals early on before Ben Madigan struck on 18 minutes with the first Gosport try.

Alex Duncombe added the conversion and did the same again when hooker Sean Shepherd added a second score nine minutes later.

The hosts had Sam Foster sent to the sin bin on the half-hour mark.

During the 10 minutes he was off, Eastleigh reduced the deficit to 20-15 with two tries.

Before half-time Gosport regained the ascendancy through another Duncombe penalty and a converted try by Wes Dugan.

Wayne Dugan stretched the home side’s lead to 32-15 with a bonus-point try on 72 minutes.

There was still time for Eastleigh hit back with two tries to claim losing bonus points.

‘The area where we let ourselves down a bit was in our discipline,’ added Pickett.

‘We spoke to the players about the need to bring our penalty count down but it seemed to go in one ear and out the other.

‘Early on, in particular, we were guilty of conceding too many silly penalties.

‘It was also disappointing that we allowed Eastleigh to escape with some bonus points at the end.

‘It is an encouraging start, though. Now we need to show we can do it away from home.

‘We have not done well on the road in recent years and it will be nice to get that off our backs at Old Reigatian next week.’

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