McRoberts: Gosport players must show stomach for fight

Chris Thompson. Picture: Paul Jacobs (151898-6)
Chris Thompson. Picture: Paul Jacobs (151898-6)
Joel Knight. Picture: Chris Moorhouse

FULL GALLERY: Hampshire make solid start on the road to Twickenham

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It was another frustrating afternoon for Gosport & Fareham head coach Neil McRoberts when his side lost 66-0 at Maidstone in London one south.

Once again McRoberts found himself plagued by late withdrawals as his team searched for a first away win of the season.

‘It is totally unacceptable,’ said McRoberts.

‘On a Wednesday I am able to name a strong side, capable of beating anyone in our league.

‘Within 24 hours, though, I find myself having to make 10 changes.’

It is certainly not a new issue for Gosport who have struggled for consistency.

McRoberts believes it is getting worse, though.

He is now calling on his players to rally together.

‘It is a long-standing problem stemming back to last season, though it has got worse this year,’ added McRoberts.

‘Some of the players need to take a long hard look at themselves.

‘They have to decide if they have the stomach for the fight because we certainly find ourselves in one at the moment.

‘We need to have our best players at training and out there on the pitch in games.’

The visitors conceded a couple of early tries before having their best spell of the game before and just after half-time.

In the end, though, the Blue and Golds, minus a number of senior players ran out of steam against good opponents.

Second team players Ian White and Chris Brettel stepped up to make their senior debuts and did admirably well in the circumstances.

Gosport remain third from bottom, a point behind nearest rivals Dover with a game in hand.

With a visit to Dover next up McRoberts is desperate to field his strongest team.

‘Dover is not a place to go with a weakened team,’ said McRoberts.

‘It won’t be for the faint-hearted and we have to make sure we go there with a good side.

‘We have to be prepared to deal with anything that comes at us.

‘To do that we need the players to commit.

‘Some players need to take a leaf out of the book of stalwarts like Wes Dugan, Chris Thompson, Kieron McRoberts and Ben Lanigan, who are prepared to play in any team at any venue.’

Gosport have three away games left to break their duck this season.

As well as Dover, they visit basement-club Twickenham and have a derby contest at Havant.