Bognor ready to make mark in rugby's new premier division

Bognor went well at home last season - and they're out to repeat that form, starting this weekend / Picture by Kate Shemilt
Bognor went well at home last season - and they're out to repeat that form, starting this weekend / Picture by Kate Shemilt

Bognor completed their pre-season preparations when they convincingly defeated Chichester seconds at Oaklands Park 77-17.

While accepting there will be much tougher matches to come in the inaugural Hampshire Premiership, coaches Billy Toone and Scott Barlow have been delighted with the progress made during the past two months of hard work.

“What I was particularly pleased about”, said Toone, “was the fact that we were able to bring on so many youngsters for their first taste of senior rugby and yet we still managed to keep the scoreboard ticking over.”

Barlow’s vast experience in the National League was evident in Bognor’s improved set-piece play and particularly in the scrums where the visitors’ starting front row of Chris Webb, Lee Balchin and Tom James totally demolished their opposite numbers.

The backs, too, combined slickly and, with the 10-12 axis of Sean Power and Dave Sweeney running the show, the result was a hatful of tries for the outside backs.

Toone is well aware more depth will be needed in certain positions for what will be a long season but, for now, Bognor can look forward with confidence to the start of the new campaign. And what better a test could there be than to welcome back old adversaries Millbrook to Hampshire Avenue this Saturday?

Kick-off is 3pm and all support is welcome.

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