Gosport need grit and determination to power clear of danger

Ben Lanigan is back for Gosport.  Picture: Paul Jacobs (151898-9)
Ben Lanigan is back for Gosport. Picture: Paul Jacobs (151898-9)
Dylan Raubenheimer. Picture: Ian Hargreaves

Ex-All Blacks to compete in maiden Spinnaker 7s tournament

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Coach Neil McRoberts has warned his players to put in the hard yards as Gosport & Fareham host Charlton Park in London one south tomorrow (2pm).

The Blue and Golds start the new year just one place above the relegation zone and nine points in front of their visitors who prop up the league

We have a powerful set of forwards who can slog through the conditions when necessary

Neil McRoberts

McRoberts recognises the importance of starting the second half of the season with a win.

‘If you include the bonus points on offer this has to be regarded as a 10-point game,’ said McRoberts.

‘This is an opportunity for us to put some real daylight between us and the bottom three.

‘In January and February, when the weather and pitches are not at their best, games are often won by making the hard yards.

‘It is the time of year when games are won through sheer grit and determination.

‘Coming back from the Christmas break it is the teams that adapt the quickest who do well.

‘We have shown last season, and this, that we possess those qualities in abundance.

‘Last year we did well in this period and it paid dividends.

‘We have a powerful set of forwards who can slog through the conditions when necessary.

‘Some people have labelled us as one-dimensional as a team but I think that does them great discredit.

‘Our forwards can play rugby and our backs have the physicality to mix it and open play out.’

New Zealander Caleb Kingi returns to the side as hooker in place of Danny Gamblin who is unavailable for a couple of weeks.

He is joined in the front row by the powerful presence of Ben Lanigan, who has recovered from the concussion suffered against Havant.

In the three-quarters the home side welcome back full-back Jack Brawn, who has been an influential figure in their ranks this season.

Gosport have produced their best performances this season at home.

They saw off local rivals Havant in front of the Gosport Park faithful.

‘We produced our best performance of the season to beat Havant,’ said McRoberts.

‘If we can reproduce that form then there is every chance we can come away with the same kind of result against Charlton Park.

‘We have to make sure we remain focused and get things right.

‘Our pitch is in remarkable condition considering all the rain we have had.

‘Even so I can’t see the game being much of a free-flowing affair.

‘It is essential we pick up as many points as possible from our home matches.’

Gosport & Fareham: Jack Brawn, David Cleary, Kieron McRoberts, Wayne Dugan, Levi Hui Hui, Alex Duncombe, Wes Dugan, Freddie O’Toole, Caleb Kingi, Ben Lanigan, Mark Pollard, Max Paige, Ben Madigan, Chris Thompson, Tim Snowden. Replacements: Nathan Titchener, Dan Turner, Alex Cooksley