No gains for struggling Gosport & Fareham
Gosport & Fareham put in another spirited performance despite losing 55-10 in their Hampshire derby at Tottonians.
Barry Bridgeman was forced to field another patched-up side against their hosts, who sit in the top five of London one south.
The odds were stacked against the visitors, who are yet to win this season.
‘We came off with half a smile after playing some good rugby in spells,’ said head coach Bridgman.
‘We had a lot of the ball which is quite pleasing and scored a couple of good tries.
‘Our big problem is when we do have the ball we don’t have the penetration to get over the gain-line.
‘Eventually we get turned over without making ground.
‘In this game we made 90 per cent of our tackles, which is encouraging.
‘But we keep having spells in games when we concede tries in quick succession.
‘Tottonians got three in a 12-minute spell at the start of the second half.
‘They also murdered us in the scrums where we were going backwards all afternoon.
‘Despite that our hooker still managed to take three balls against the head.’
The visitors were boosted by the return of Wayne Dugan in the centre after injury kept him out for much of the first half of the season.
Tottonians opened up a 12-point lead in the opening nine minutes but Gosport made their mark midway through the half.
They set up a driving maul from a line-out and Tim Snowden crossed for the try.
Gosport’s second came at the death when makeshift centre Simon Trivett capitalised on good work from the backs.
‘At least we can take some encouragement from this going into the new year,’ said Bridgman.
‘The players showed again whatever happens they are prepared to keep going right to the end.’
In Hampshire one, Fareham Heathens got back to winning ways with a 23-17 away win against the Isle of Wight.
It ended a run of three successive defeats for the visitors, who reach the halfway stage in mid-table.