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Dover Rugby Club coach Graham Tonks trying to get his head around baffling performance during London 1 South loss at Guildford

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Dover Rugby Club coach Graham Tonks isn’t normally lost for a word or two but admits he was during the London 1 South clash at high-flying Guildford on Saturday.

The game was evenly poised at 0-0 after 20 minutes – that wasn’t the case at half-time.

The second-placed hosts led 20-0 by that stage before finally going on to win 32-14.

Tonks said he was still trying to get his head around what had happened in the final 20 minutes of the first half.

He said: “We capitulated. There is no other word to describe it and it baffled me.

Dover coach Graham Tonks.
Dover coach Graham Tonks.

“I was bewildered because we hadn’t looked in any trouble until then.

“But then our discipline, or lack of it, left me speechless. We gave away far too many penalties and got punished because of it. It just wasn’t good enough.”

Guildford led 27-0 at one stage in the second half before Sharks reduced the deficit through tries from Buster Collins and Jonathon Walker-Smith. Jack Ayling converted both.

The loss was a third consecutive one for Tonks’ side following the defeats at Crabble against leaders Wimbledon and third-placed Sutton & Epsom.

Despite the defeat, Sharks remain ninth ahead of Saturday’s home clash against 11th-placed Cobham (2pm).

Tonks said it was about time his side played a team below them.

He said: “We’ve played the top three in successive matches – it doesn’t get any tougher than that.

“Now we’ve got the chance to play against a side at the other end of the table and we intend to make it count.”

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