Gosport want payback

Ben Madigan
Ben Madigan
Dylan Raubenheimer. Picture: Ian Hargreaves

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Gosport & Fareham coach Neil McRoberts believes it is payback time when Twickenham visit Gosport Park in London one south tomorrow.

The home side suffered a disappointing 26-0 defeat at the hands of the London outfit at the start of the season.

McRoberts insists his players are still embarrassed by their display that day and will be ‘champing at the bit’ to get their revenge.

‘We didn’t perform well at all in the game at Twickenham and paid a heavy price for a slow start,’ he said.

‘We didn’t turn up for the first 15 minutes and they ripped us apart.

‘Before we knew it Twickenham scored 26 points and we were left chasing the game.

‘Our players are champing at the bit to right some wrongs of that performance.

‘I am hoping Twickenham will find us a totally different proposition on our own patch.’

McRoberts’ team start the new year fifth from bottom – one point and two places above Twickenham.

Those statistics make tomorrow’s game a crucial contest, with both teams clearly looking for vital points to pull away from the relegation zone.

Although Gosport lost the derby at Havant before the Christmas break, they did manage to pick up a bonus point which moved them up two places in the table.

It shows every point is precious in a division where there is little difference between the clubs.

Coach McRoberts thinks his team are on the right track and if they can improve in one or two areas they can pull away from the danger zone.

‘We have done well in recent games but need to improve our game management,’ he said.

‘In our last home game against Charlton Park we got in front but let the game slip and in the end did well to defend and get a draw.

‘At Havant, they got in front before we pegged them back only to lose. It is important we select the right moves in the right areas of the pitch at the correct time.

‘The players seem to have got over starting games slowly and must now retain their focus in the middle third.

‘This is a good opportunity to start the second part of the season with a win.

‘It is up to us to make sure we take it.’

The home side are boosted by the news that dynamic back-row forward Ben Madigan may be available to make his first appearance of the season.

Front-row forward Mark Jones is expected to return to the squad but winger Tom Lewis faces a fitness test on his foot.

‘It is vital that we get the new year off to a positive start,’ added McRoberts.

‘Two of our next three games are at home and we must make the most of them.’

Gosport & Fareham: Penfold, Lewis, McRoberts K, Dugan Wayne, Holling, Foster, Dugan Wes, Gilmartin, Gamblin, Blackburn, Pollard, Roberts, Madigan, Thompson, Snowden, Jones M, Daly, Heron