Bognor had a rude awakening to life in London three south west as they were soundly beaten 52-0 at home to Eastleigh.
The game started relatively evenly but precise kicking from the Eastleigh No10 allowed them to gain field position.
A poor penalty for hands in the ruck meant Bognor found themselves 3-0 down. Another even ten minutes passed and with the rain hammering down and the wind behind Eastleigh they had a stranglehold on the match. A Bognor scrum turned in to an Eastleigh penalty from ill discipline. Eastleigh opted for the attacked scrum and drove the Bognor pack over from 5m. It was converted and Eastleigh led 10-0.
Bognor restarted well, applying pressure, and got an attacking scrum for a rare visit in to the Eastleigh half. The scrum was lost and Bognor found themselves back in their own 22m with some good kicking from the opposing No10.
A mix up in the Bognor lineout led to Eastleigh gaining possession and they scored in the corner for a 17-0 lead.
The rain and wind made it very hard for either team to secure good lineout ball but Eastleigh managed to steal close to the line and build momentum before scoring a pick-and-go to make the half-time score 24-0.
In the second half, there were good individual performances from Sam Newcombe when he switched back to No9, Dan Harding and Chris Webb.
A Bognor side who had a very positive pre-season, beating Camberley and Haywards Heath, were out of sorts, lacking their usual intensity.
In the second half, there were good individual performances from Sam Newcombe when he switched back to No9, Dan Harding and Chris Webb with their fantastic work-rate and Pat Gibbs led a couple of nice breaks and he was unlucky not to score.
The tries soon rattled in for Eastleigh who looked comfortable under relatively little pressure. The final score was 52-0 and Eastleigh deserved the win.
Saturday sees Bognor host US Portsmouth. All support welcome.
* On a more positive note, congratulations to first-team captain Lee Balchin on his marriage to Lindsey.
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