DESPITE losing 58-5 Salisbury had much to take away from their visit to Royal Wootton Bassett.

The home side came into this game undefeated and with a large, rumbling pack whereas Salisbury have suffered from non availabilities, people leaving the area and injuries to key talismanic players.

Nonetheless this young side is learning quickly, albeit in the harsh environment that is League rugby.

Veteran front row forward Gareth Blackborow assumed the captaincy, and with props Matty Frere and Miles Thompson either side of him enjoyed a good degree of success in the set piece.

This was aided by the solid unit of Jake McConnell and the returning Richard Goffin at lock, the latter looking very industrious and effective around the park.

Buoyed by a large and vociferous home crowd, the host soon took the lead and extended it at regular intervals throughout the half. Salisbury looked good with ball in hand but tended to fall off tackles rather too easily and paid the penalty.

In the second half, following a good spell for the visitors, Thompson crashed over in the corner sending the travelling support, massed behind the posts, into paroxysm of joy and celebration.

Sadly the match returned to business as normal and Bassett kept the electronic scoreboard ticking over, once they had remembered the password.

There will be lots of work to do before the visit to Windsor next week who are also languishing in the nether regions of the table.

The return of Goffin was a highlight and Salisbury can expect another five or six first team regulars to begin coming back which can only help the youngsters and should begin to turn things around.

Salisbury’s second string were beaten 50-22 away against Oakmeadians’ 1st XV.

Despite conceding early scores from the home side Salisbury quickly got back into the game being the first to secure the four try bonus point with scores from Bean Jones, Nik Wotton and a brace from Ky Thomas.

With the score line at 24-22 Salisbury had much of the pressure but Oakmeadians scored twice on the counter attack and with Salisbury injuries mounting the home side took their chances and continued to stretch their lead.

Salisbury now re-group ready for a winnable home fixtures against Swanage and Wareham 2nd XV in the cup quarter-final.