Gosport must step it up for Andover at home

Barry Bridgman
Barry Bridgman
Gosport & Fareham head coach Barry Bridgman. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (180183-1)

Gosport & Fareham coach counts cost after ‘heartbreaking’ loss

Max Page, left. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (170516-1)

Bridgman rues slows start to second half as Gosport & Fareham crash

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BARRY BRIDGMAN is hoping home comforts will help Gosport & Fareham get back to winning ways in London two south west.

The Blue & Golds host Andover on Saturday in a Hampshire derby at Gosport Park with both teams needing points to stay out of the relegation zone.

Bridgman was hugely disappointed with his team’s heavy defeat at Farnham in their last game.

He said: ‘Our first half was dire.

‘Our tackling was poor and our opponents took full advantage of that.

‘We conceded seven tries, mainly through our poor play.

‘We are still only seven points above the relegation zone so there is still plenty of work to be done.’

Bridgman will take some solace, however, from his team’s past two home performances.

Firstly they only lost narrowly to title-chasing Old Reigatian and then beat third-placed KCS Old Boys.

The hosts will need to reproduce that kind of form if they are to turnaround the heavy defeat suffered at Andover in the first half of the season.

Fareham Heathens host Bognor at Cams Alders expecting a tough game against the second-placed visitors.

Director of rugby Bernie Rhodes said: ‘We always have a tough battle against Bognor.

‘We lost narrowly away earlier in the season and we want to overturn that result at home.

Head coach Dave Wheaton said: ‘Our preparation for Saturday has been hampered by the poor weather conditions but we know we can play well in these tough conditions.’

Inia Qiolevu, the battering Fijian back rower, will be playing his last game or Heathens as work commitments are taking him away from Fareham.

In Hampshire two Locks Heath Pumas face a difficult trip to Fawley.

Head coach Alan Palmer said: ‘Confidence is high with the team getting stronger on the road. Fawley are a side that want to play and will always score tries so our defence will be tested.’

Tom O’Grady is back for the Pumas.