Defence the focus for Gosport & Fareham chief

Danny Gamblin. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (170516-1)
Danny Gamblin. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (170516-1)
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Gosport & Fareham must address their woeful away form if they are to avoid a relegation dogfight in London two south west.

And it is the Gosport Park side’s defence which has got to improve, according to head coach Barry Bridgman.

If they don’t get it right at fellow strugglers Old Tonbridgians at Richmond Park tomorrow, they will slide into the bottom two.

Bridgman remains optimistic, though, despite his troops suffering their heaviest defeat of the season at the hands of leaders Camberley last weekend.

He said: ‘We were beaten by the better side but we scored three very good tries.

‘It was a pity we didn’t go on and earn a bonus point.

‘Our defence is letting us down at the moment.

‘We have good spells of playing rugby but then fall away.’

Gosport & Fareham have lost Danny Gamblin to injury.

The prop dislocated a finger and is likely to be out for up to eight weeks.

In Hampshire one, Fareham Heathens are forced to take a weakened squad to the Isle Of Wight.

Director of rugby Bernie Rhodes said: ‘Once again we find ourselves impacted by availability problems.

‘We have been successful against the Isle of Wight for the past few seasons.

‘They are always tough and generally high-scoring affairs as they generally find a way to score.

‘We will have to be at our best – even with our depleted squad – to come away with the points.’

Cam Guthrie returns to the Heathens having been on a sabbatical to Australia and Thailand for the last 18 months.

Back-row Matt Smith is available after missing the win over Alresford last week.

The normal midfield of Tom Baxter and Rob Impey are out, though.

Right-wing Steve Devon is unavailable, so Fijian Ted Mata returns after impressing for the seconds.

Head coach and skipper Dave Wheaton said: ‘We know what to expect and the availability disruption is not ideal.

‘However, we are confident all the players stepping up will do a job for us.’