Pickett hoping Gosport can build momentum

Gosport & Fareham are determined to record back-to-back wins when they host Eastleigh tomorrow in London two south west (3pm).

By The Newsroom
Friday, 15th September 2017, 7:01 am
Updated Wednesday, 27th September 2017, 11:33 am
Wes Dugan, left, has stayed at Gosport & Fareham this season
Wes Dugan, left, has stayed at Gosport & Fareham this season

The Gosport Park outfit started the campaign with a 15-12 victory against Winchester last weekend.

After two seasons of struggling in London One south – which resulted in relegation last term – the win made a welcomed change.

Coach Simon Pickett is hoping his side can improve on that performance after grinding out a hard-earned success.

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He said ‘We have not been used to winning many games so it was important we made a positive start.

‘The first game was more about the result than the performance.

‘Having got the win, it gets a losing monkey off our back right from the start.

‘When a team loses on a regular basis then it can become a little bit demoralising.

‘Beating Winchester will give everyone at the club a boost.

‘We didn’t play particularly well and know that we will need to improve a lot.’

Pickett is optimistic Gosport will have far more success this season after their opening-day win.

A number of experienced players, including brothers Wes and Wayne Dugan, and Tim Snowdon are still at the club while a couple of other influential figures have returned.

In the forwards Ben Madigan and in the three-quarters Sam Foster have both re-signed.

Hooker Sean Shepherd has moved back to Gosport Park after spending last season with Chichester.

Navy recruit Declan Gillett is a useful addition given his versatility, although he’s out injured for the next couple of weeks.

Pickett also has a number of youngsters at his disposal and he believes his veterans can help nurture the fledgling talents and ensure they reach their potential.

Wing-forward Ethan Carpenter registering an eye-catching performance against Winchester.

Pickett is expecting another tough game against Eastleigh, who started the campaign with a 9-3 win against Effingham & Leatherhead.

The Gosport coach is aware their Hampshire rivals have a strong pack of forwards that will test his troops.

‘We showed against Winchester we have the quality to grind out a win in difficult circumstances,’ Pickett added.

‘Our scrummage creaked a bit at times and we are working to strengthen our set-piece game.

‘We will need to front up against Eastleigh if we are to provide a platform to play our expansive rugby.

‘After our win last week, we can go into the game with more confidence.’

Gosport & Fareham: Penfold, Cleary, Dugan Wayne, Foster, Durrington, Dunscombe, Dugan Wes, Gamblin, Shepherd, O’Donoghue, Woodford, Roberts, Snowdon, Trevett, Madigan

Replacements: Titchenor, Bristow, Hollings