Basingstoke made a number of changes to the line up to face Gosport and Fareham as they looked to make it 15 wins from 15. Carl Hayward making his first start of the season came in on the wing, Alfie Rowley making his debut at 13, Kofi Butcher returning at 12, Sam Goddard partnering Tom Johnson in the second row and Rhyan Harmon- Scott starting at Hooker and Captain in place of Jon Bird, who moved to the replacements bench with Jordan Plenderleith and Sean McDermott, both have been in impressive form for the Dragons.
Stoke started the match playing into the wind and up the slope, but still managed to build some early pressure with winger Michael West scoring in the corner to give Basingstoke a 5-0 lead after 3minutes, it didn’t take long before Kofi Butcher crossed the white wash to make the score 10-0. The home side weren’t going to have it all their own way, Gosport made Basingstoke work hard before West scored his second of the game, which was converted by Eagle. Guy Pope, making some industrious runs, enable Basingstoke to build more pressure within the forward and Stoke’s next try came from fly half Eagle who also managed to add the further 2 points with the conversion to take the score to 24 points. Hayward finished the first half scoring by adding another try to give Basingstoke 29-0 half time lead.
Gosport despite sitting bottom of the league were not prepared to give up, they battled hard in the second half, although they didn’t threaten Basingstoke 22, they scrapped hard to keep the score line down. Jordan Plenderleith got the first try of the second half, which Eagle converted, and then was followed up by try from Head Coach Simon Appleby, again Eagle adding a further 2 points. The match then saw Dave Rees score 2 tries, with James Savine, playing at full back today, get Basingstoke 10th try of the game. Carl Hayward finished the match with his second, which Eagle converted to take the final score to 65-0.
Basingstoke have no fixture this weekend ahead of a tough away fixture to Fordingbridge on 9th February. Both sides like to play expansive rugby, so fingers crossed for some good weather.
Basingstoke Dragons were looking to make it 3 wins on the bounce when they came up against Nomads away. The Dragons were missing 5 players from the previous 2 wins who had been promoted to the 1st XV, despite the new line up Basingstoke managed to take the lead. However, Nomads soon fought back to stretch out to 20-7 lead, which Basingstoke could not get themselves back into the game. The final score saw Nomads win 39-12.
Photo by Chris Pritchard