Rugby: Bognor’s Romsey rout seems familiar

Bognor’s 48-3 win at home to Romsey in Hampshire League division one was similar in many respects to the rout of Southampton.

For the first half-hour, Bognor struggled to put together any cohesive rugby but, after grabbing a couple of tries before half-time, they went on to score a hatful in the second half for another comprehensive win.

This third successive victory lifts Bognor to fourth in the table.

Bognor began strongly and put together several phases to take them within five metres of Romsey’s line. The visitors survived the early onslaught and counter-attacked well to earn a penalty when Harry Dyer infringed just inside his own half. The Romsey kicker was wide of the mark but made no mistake a few minutes later with his second attempt.

Bognor were three points down but it could have been worse, a mistake at the back almost presenting Romsey with a gift try. Bognor’s loyal supporters were witnessing a succession of handling errors and poor decision-making and they were, no doubt, wondering how the same team managed to score 11 tries the previous week.

George Castleton took matters into his own hands and crossed the line, only to be called back by the referee who decided that he, himself, had impeded a would-be tackler. Scrum-half Rob Legge was held up over the line but the pressure was starting to tell.

Finally, winger Shane Stevens set off on a powerful run and found Shergold in support. Stevens looped around and received a return pass, touching down under the posts for Bognor’s first try.

Five minutes later Castleton made inroads and the ball found its way to the marauding Harry Dyer, who bamboozled the defence with clever footwork before flying over the line. Shergold converted both tries to give Bognor a 14-3 lead.

Instead of turning up the pressure, however, Bognor lost concentration and, in the few minutes before half-time, they conceded a strike against the head at a scrum as well as two silly penalties.

Bognor had scored two tries but missed four, a point not lost on head coach Steve Dove as he read the riot act at half-time.

The experienced Ben Burns was brought on at centre with Josh Burgess moving to full-back and it was the former’s uncompromising running that brought almost immediate reward. Burns was involved twice within the first minute in a move that included two deft touches from Rudi Upton and it ended with right-wing Josh Riggall screaming over in the corner.

Ten minutes later Bognor scored their bonus-point try when Legge forced his way over from close to the line and Riggall was on the scoresheet again after some great handling inside the visitors’ 22.

Castleton, who had been involved in every positive move that Bognor had created all afternoon, received his just desserts when he scored his team’s sixth try.

Bognor were now a totally different outfit from the one that spluttered its way through the first 30 minutes and Legge capped a fine game by scoring his second try before Riggall flew down the touchline to bag his hat-trick.

This Saturday, Bognor travel to Andover, a side who have also won three of their first four matches, and Dove is well aware a more consistent performance over the full 80 minutes will be needed.

BOGNOR: Satturley, Stevens, Burgess, Upton, Riggall, Shergold, Legge, Morgan, Ubsdell, Angelov, Harding, Barlow, Castleton, Dyer, Tompkins,

Reps: Burns, Smith, Hornibrook.