Gosport and Fareham are looking forward to getting back into competitive action this weekend, as we host Old Reigatians at Gosport Park. The lack of a league fixture last weekend has allowed the players to rest their bodies and for those with injuries receive extended treatment without having a game to ensure they are ready for this weekend’s game.
This has allowed the players and coaching staff to align their thought process and discuss what we want to achieve over the next few fixtures. This included a whiteboard session lead by the players and then discussing the pros and cons for each group’s proposals, this was an ideal coaching event for the coaches as it allowed us to see the player’s level of understanding as to what we are trying to achieve. Following on from the session, the players have lead a training session on the field to implement the new agreed style of play, this allowed the players to visualise what was on paper.
The coaching staff also took advantage of the resources available to the club via the RFU and the Hampshire Rugby Development Officer (Kieran Spencer) and we had a guest coach come in for a training session and work with the forwards from all teams. They concentrated on building the scrum and working on new drills to implement the new process. The theory and practical was then put into practice utilising games, which allowed the players to hone their newly discovered skills.
When we played Old Reigatian’s at their ground we started really well and some key decision making meant that we ended up on the end of a defeat. A lesson we did take away from the previous fixture was their driving maul, they use this to great effect. We have spent time looking at how to negate this threat and turn our lineout into a weapon from which to launch our back line. We were also missing some of our more senior players for this fixture due to injury and non-availability and it was the first time some combinations had played a competitive game together.
This weekend will see the return of some of our walking injured but we will still have a significant number of key players missing due to injury and other commitments. This will be Sam Bartlett’s first appearance for the 1s, the coaching staff have been monitoring his performances before he joined the club in January and he was a standout performer against Basingstoke for the 2s. So he has earned his selection for the 1s.
The 2s welcome Millbrook to Gosport Park. They have prepared well and have a number of their senior players available to them this weekend and players returning from injury. So they are looking strong and are looking forward to the challenge which Millbrook will pose.