George Hillan’s belief in player power paid off as Gosport & Fareham gained a vital 35-17 London two south west home win against Old Reigatian.
The head coach is convinced the key to survival is the players taking ownership of the relegation battle.
On a typical afternoon at Gosport Park in the wind and rain the home side ran out worthy winners.
Hillan was delighted with the way his players stepped up to the plate.
He said: ‘It was the first time we could test our new playing style and processes on the field of battle.
‘During the week the players had been challenged with taking more ownership.
‘After long discussions and reviews we agreed on a style we wanted to implement.
‘We were keen to get revenge for our defeat at Old Reigatian earlier this season.’
The home side started well, establishing good control playing against the wind.
Unfortunately when they got themselves into good attacking positions they made things too complicated.
The visitors were able to turn the ball over and suddenly turned defence into attack.
A couple of missed tackles allowed Old Reigatian to open the scoring with a converted try under the posts against the run of play.
Despite the set-back the hosts continued to dominate the scrums.
With the outstanding Aiden Price running hard and strong at the heart of the opposition Gosport kept going forward.
A penalty, however, enabled their opponents to use the wind and push the home side back.
From the line-out Gosport conceded a second try.
Hillan was pleased to see heads didn’t drop and his side used the opportunity to refocus.
He added: ‘Standing behind the posts for the conversion the players were able to concentrate on what they needed to do.
‘They knew they had to keep things simple in order to generate pressure.
‘Our new system allowed us to generate quick ball and by attacking around the edges we broke through.’
Si Trivett got the home side on the scoreboard with a try converted by Alex Duncombe.
Then after moving the ball wide a good kick and chase ended with Wes Dugan levelling the scores with an opportunist try.
Just before half-time Price broke through to score under the posts.
Duncombe converted to give the Blue and Golds a 19-12 lead at the break.
In the second period Gosport added further tries from Shaun Taylor and Rory Penfold. with Duncombe also knocking over a dropped goal.
It will increase the confidence.
‘This was a pleasing start to our new system,’ said Hillan.
‘It should give the players the confidence to build and develop further.’