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James Croker not worried by Basingstoke's friendly defeat
BASINGSTOKE RFC lost 36-17 to visiting Bracknell in a pre-season friendly match at Down Grange on Saturday.
A total of 13 players made their first appearances for ’Stoke, who were missing around a full side’s worth of first-team regulars.
The hosts opted not to kick any penalties at goal, choosing to kick for touch instead, while their tries were scored by second row Cama Keresi, winger Gavin Dampies and Jake Whitby, one of the club’s new additions.
The former England under-18 winger, a former pupil at Lord Wandsworth College and member of the London Irish Academy, scored with his first touch as a Basingstoke player.
Basingstoke director of rugby James Croker said: “There were a lot of positives to take and overall we got what we wanted out of the game.
“Young Ryan Wilkie was outstanding at prop. For an 18-year-old prop to play the way he did in his first senior game was terrific.
“Jon Bird and Chris Kiernan have been the bridesmaids over the last couple of years, mainly because there is so much competition in their positions. This year I have seen a real improvement from a mental aspect and I expect them both to be more competitive as a result.”
The Basingstoke squad are being given this weekend off ahead of the start of the National 3 London campaign, which begins with a trip to East Grinstead on September 8.
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