Gosport stay positive ahead of Twickenham trip

Paul Maxwell
Paul Maxwell
Dylan Raubenheimer. Picture: Ian Hargreaves

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Gosport & Fareham make just one change to the side who beat Weybridge Vandals so convincingly last weekend for their trip to Twickenham.

Veteran prop Dai Whitehead is unavailable because of work commitments so the 49-year-old’s place goes to Paul Maxwell, who is 10 years younger.

Simon Pickett’s navy duties have taken him to sea for five months so his place on the bench goes to the experienced Trevor Westerman, who can cover for both the front-row and second-row.

Gosport have to play Twickenham twice before the end of the season – this match was postponed due to the snowy weather back in December, with the return fixture in a month’s time.

‘The squad is in a very positive frame of mind after the win over Vandals when all the players performed well,’ said director of rugby Jamie Daly.

‘The win was a culmination of good training sessions and the fact that the players have started to believe in their abilities. This showed on Saturday when they scored eight tries, some of which were excellent.

‘I think Twickenham will be a stern test, even though their recent results have been a little hit and miss.

‘We need to take the motivation and effort from the home win against Vandals and transfer that to an away performance.’

Gosport & Fareham: Dugan Wayne, Thorne, Mulholland, Moggeridge, Heron, Duncombe, Dugan Wes, Burton, Clark, Maxwell, Woodford, Pollard, Snowden, Reynolds, Flower, Barnes, Westerman, Lloyd.

Petersfield face a testing visit to second-placed Camberley in London south west three.

The visitors will travel in a good frame of mind, though, after their 28-26 win at Old Wellingtonians last weekend.

Coach Derek Eldridge was quietly delighted with the result but insisted there was room for improvement

‘From a coaching point of view, the team’s ball retention in contact was really good, but penalties cost us again,’ he said.

‘We gave up counting the penalties given away at 21.

‘This is something we must work on as every penalty is an easy gain the opposition do not have to work for.

‘The five-point win moved us nine points clear of the relegation zone, although there can be no room for complacency.

‘This league is very competitive and a few bad results could result in a slide.’

In Hampshire league one, United Services Portsmouth entertain Millbrook at Burnaby Road and Fareham Heathens go to Eastleigh.