Easter demands more despite Wimbledon bonus-point win

Wimbledon 50 Gosport and Fareham 22

Wimbledon head coach Nick Easter is demanding more improvement from his side despite their bonus-point victory over a battling Gosport and Fareham side.

The home side scored six tries courtesy of James McCann, Josh Charles, Rob Tat, Rhys Morgan and a Steve May double but they were over-reliant on the boot of Neil Hallett for long periods.

Gosport deservedly earned their first away bonus-point via tries from brothers Wes and Wayne Dugan, Alex Heron and sub Josh Juleff and the ease at which they scored will cause Easter some concern.

He said: “It was probably our worst performance of the season, we should never have conceded four tries. Our heads weren’t really in it today, particularly in the first 20 minutes.”

Hallett scored three early penalties but the away side roared into the game as Horan touched down after collecting a box kick and Wayne Dugan showed the home defence a clean pair of heels to score in the corner.

Tom Lewis converted but the league leaders responded through Hallett and with Gosport’s Daniel O’Donaghue in the sin-bin May drove over twice in quick succession with Hallett converting both.

Wes Dugan scored a dubious try, the ball seemed to slip out of hands before touching it down, just on the half-time whistle as Wimbledon led 23-17.

As fog descended, Easter’s side weathered an early Gosport rally and put the game to bed within the first 20 minutes.

McCann showed bravery when squeezing in right on the touchline before he turned provider when setting up Charles to touch down while Hallett, who finished with 20 points, continued his kicking masterclass.

Bryan Croke was influential throughout and set up Tat’s try with a clever grubber kick before excellently off-loading to Morgan who celebrated his return from injury with a try.

But Gosport never gave in and their endeavour was rewarded when Juleff bundled over the final score of a game which sees Wimbledon extend their unbeaten streak to nine games.

Easter could find few positives to take from the victory and stressed the importance of producing a big display against Sutton and Epsom next week.

He added: “We have to turn up with the right mindset. If we do and we get a performance it will be good enough but if we don’t we’ll be in for a big shock.”

Meanwhile, man of the match Croke also admitted there was no margin for error ahead of next week’s clash

He said: “Sutton is probably the biggest game we’ve had so far this season. They’re going well and they’ve got a big mean pack and physical backs so we have to perform.”


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