'˜Stomachless' display concerns Gosport & Fareham chief

Neil McRoberts was left massively disappointed by the way Gosport & Fareham fell away in their 64-11 defeat to Medway at Gosport Park.

Monday, 21st March 2016, 8:00 am
Sam Foster, right. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (150799-9)

Up until the 50th minute, the home side were well in contention in the London one south contest.

That all changed in the final 30 minutes when the hosts were steamrollered by the Kent visitors.

‘We played for 50 minutes but let ourselves down badly in the final half-hour,’ said McRoberts.

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‘It is easy to undo all the previous good work if you miss first-up tackles and you stop working hard.

‘In the last half-hour we switched off and it was almost as if we were not out there.

‘We can’t have that type of stomachless performance if we are to get ourselves out of trouble.

‘It was a case of us pressing the self-destruct button.’

After an even opening, Medway grabbed the initiative on 14 minutes with two quick-fire tries. Sam Foster got Gosport on the board with a penalty but Medway struck again soon afterwards with their third try.

The home side stemmed the flow on the half-hour with a superb try which started deep in their own territory.

The ball was worked upfield by a series of powerful drives and after about 20 phases it was worked along the three quarters for Jack Brawn to force his way over.

Gosport were very much in the game, trailing 17-8 at the break and soon after the restart Foster reduced the deficit further with his second penalty. But that was as good as it got.

‘Up until early in the second half we did everything we needed to do,’ said McRoberts.

‘In defence we got ourselves up quickly and in attack we played up and beyond the gain line.

‘Then we just stopped playing. We cannot afford to do that if we want to finish outside the bottom three.’

McRoberts admitted their cause wasn’t helped by the absence of the powerful Dugan brothers.

Wes and Wayne Dugan were both suspended by the club after being sent off against Tottonians the previous weekend.

‘Obviously being without two of our most influential players made a difference but I don’t think the last half-hour was anything to do with that,’ said McRoberts.

Gosport are now waiting to have the Dugans’ period of suspension ratified by the Hampshire Rugby Union, who can either agree with the club or extend the period.

McRoberts is hoping both will return for the vital relegation battle at basement club Twickenham in the first game after the Easter break.

‘Ideally we will have everyone on board for what is a must-win trip to Twickenham,’ said McRoberts.

‘But if we play like we did in the final half-hour against Medway then we can expect a tough time.’