HEAD coach Alan Low accepts Royal Wootton Bassett must do more in order to bring players’ strong characters out during games following Saturday’s surprise South West One East loss away at county rivals Chippenham – their first defeat in the league this season.

A catalogue of errors when both in and out of possession hurt promotion-chasing Bassett at Allington Fields as they went down 28-13 to their Wiltshire neighbours and subsequently dropped to second place in the region’s second tier.

It was Bassett’s first defeat this term and underlined the ruthless nature of the division to the club’s first-team squad, whose coach Low certainly never underestimated Chippenham’s capabilities.

In saying that, Low admits his players were caught out by three fine performances from new opposition players.

Low said: “We looked at the game afterwards, and Chippenham had three players that were extremely dominant – we didn’t deal with those three particularly well.

“For us, we know we’ve got a very young squad across the board and we’ve got to do some work with those guys regarding how they deal with things mentally.

“Saturday certainly wasn’t a case of us not being good enough, this season has proved we have good players.

“We’ve got to do a bit more to bring the stronger character out in our players so they’re a little more resilient than what they were on Saturday.”

Bassett’s points came from tries from Josh McCafferty and Scott Douglas alongside a Troy Cusack penalty, while the 28 points conceded against Chippenham was the highest number they have given away in any game this term.

It certainly gives Low some food for thought ahead of another potentially tricky task against Marlborough this weekend – where a win could see Bassett re-claim top spot should Old Centralians slip up at Oxford Harlequins.

Low added: “We started the game really well. We were positive and controlled every aspect of the game.

“Within five minutes, we were on the scoresheet, and we looked comfortable for the first 20 to 25 minutes – we didn’t feel under too much pressure from them.

“A couple of errors led to Chippenham scoring some tries. They really capitalised on our mistakes and scored from a penalty advantage.

“We switched off, to be honest. It was uncharacteristic with where we have been. We spilled the ball and Chippenham scored off the back of that three or four phases later too.

“It was a frustrating day, we couldn’t get into our patterns. There were too many individual errors and mistakes.

“We have been very strong defensively all season, but we ended up conceding 28 points. We must address that.”

Elsewhere at the weekend, Swindon’s Southern Counties South campaign hit a stumbling block when they were beaten 10-7 at Devizes.

The visitors had led 7-5 at the break but a last-gasp try saw Devizes snatch the win and leave Swindon to settle for a losing bonus point.

Swindon College Old Boys fared better, though. They landed a 51-7 away win at Corsham.

Supermarine made it back-to-back wins in Dorset & Wilts Two North as they thrashed visitors Combe Down 2nd 58-0.