McRoberts buoyed by Gosport’s demolition of Twickenham

Rory Penfold. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (150033-6)
Rory Penfold. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (150033-6)
Dave Wheaton and the Fareham Heathens. Picture: Neil Marshall (171152-317)

Double trouble for heroic Heathens

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Gosport & Fareham hauled themselves out of the London one south relegation zone with a 29-7 win over Twickenham at Gosport Park.

Three first-half tries laid the foundations for the convincing victory over the basement club.

And a fourth try six minutes from the end earned the home side a vital bonus point.

Head coach Neil McRoberts was particularly pleased with the hard work displayed by his team in what they regarded as a must-win game.

‘Our work-rate – particularly in the first half when we played against the elements – was phenomenal,’ he said.

‘It is an area that has let us down at times in the past.

‘With due respect to Twickenham it was a game we never looked like losing.

‘In the collision areas we maintained a physicality and that meant we were able to impose our game plan on the opposition.

‘The players showed not only are they committed but they are also capable of playing some great rugby.

‘Every week we are getting better and better and it bodes well for giving us a fighting chance to stay in this league come the end of the season.’

For the first five minutes, the home side had to withstand some tremendous Twickenham pressure.

After doing this successfully, the Gosport Park side broke out to score two well-taken tries.

For the first, defenders were sucked in by Gosport’s big ball carriers and the ball was kicked over for winger Rory Penfold to win the chase.

Fellow winger David Cleary soon added a second.

‘We moved the ball from one side of the pitch to the other three times with some tremendous handling in the wet conditions,’ said McRoberts.

‘There must have been 15 to 20 phases in the move.’

Outside-half Alex Duncombe converted both with outstanding kicks from the touchline.

Tim Snowden was the unlikely scorer of the third try but he chased down an excellent Wes Dugan box kick.

Twickenham did manage a penalty try on the stroke of half-time

But Duncombe added a penalty soon after the restart before Gosport secured a fourth try on 74 minutes.

McRoberts said: ‘I thought we showed real maturity.

‘We didn’t panic or lose our shape and because of that we got our just reward of a fourth try.’

Full-back Jack Brawn raced over after good work from Chris Thompson and Mark Pollard.

‘This was an important win for us heading into the games before Christmas,’ said McRoberts.

‘Psychologically it gives us a big boost to be out of the bottom three.

‘We can start to look up and we are now only four points behind Havant in the table.’