Gosport & Fareham are setting the pace in London Two South West after opening their new campaign with a 30-3 win over Guildford at Gosport Park.
Playing against the wind, Gosport made a dream start.
Prop Ash Burton trundled up field and the ball was quickly recycled for centre Christian Jones to go over for a try, which Sam Foster converted.
The home side continued to have the best of the play, and on 15 minutes Gareth Jones, determined not to be out-shone by his younger brother, collected the ball inside his own half and raced clear for a try in the corner.
The Gosport defence were put to the test by the visitors but came through it with flying colours before adding a third score ahead of half-time.
Scrum-half Wes Duggan notched a trademark score from a five-metre scrum to give his side a 17-0 interval lead.
In the second half, Gosport used the elements to their advantage with full-back Andy Vance, back at the club, delivering some long-raking kicks to touch.
Another Foster penalty stretched Gosport’s lead nine minutes into the second half, before the game settled into a war of attrition.
And, 14 minutes from time, home captain Tim Snowden was sent to the sin bin.
Then two minutes after he returned to the field, veteran Dai Whitehead took his place in the bin.
Gosport finished with a flourish with further scores late on.
Alex Duncombe knocked over a penalty and, seven minutes into added time, the same player converted Wayne Dugan’s bonus-point try.
Head Coach Mark Wells said: ‘Guildford were always a team to reckon with.
‘I was rather wary (of them) before the game started but it was a good, general, steady performance and not conceding a try was a major plus!’
Promoted Southsea Nomads had a tough introduction to life in Hampshire One as they lost 12-41 against Ventnor at Furze Lane.
It was equally tough for relegated Petersfield who suffered a 17-29 defeat against United Services at Penns Place.
Tries from Andy Webster, Matthew Davis and Stephen Gee, with Webster adding four penalties and a conversion, gave the visitors their winning start.