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Rugby: Ex-boss Dunn downbeat over Bournemouth's run of defeats
THE man who masterminded Bournemouth's ascent to National Two South fears his former club may have hit a glass ceiling in their struggle to compete.
Long-serving David Dunn, who was replaced as director of rugby by Budge Pountney over the summer, expressed his sadness over Lions' 10-match losing streak after a 34-10 defeat at relegation rivals London Irish Wild Geese left them firmly entrenched in the drop zone.
Despite edging into an early lead through John Peart's try, Bournemouth found themselves 19-5 down at the interval after Darren Livett and Tom Fowlie had crossed the line for the hosts.
Adam Higgins got one back for the visitors after the restart but Pountney's under-fire charges shipped two more efforts despite the Premiership outfit's amateur arm having two players sin-binned in the second half.
The result left Lions, who Geese leapfrogged out of the relegation places last weekend, seven points from safety going into Christmas with just one draw to show from eight away outings this season.
And Dunn, who led Bournemouth to rugby's fourth tier with three promotions over more than a decade at Chapel Gate, reckons the club have a lot of soul searching to do over their amateur status.
Dunn told the Daily Echo: “Looking from the outside I feel very sad to see their current run of form, particularly for the players. I know many of them well and they will be hurt by such a run of defeats.
“It is a tough league as we found out last year and when you are in a slump you need everyone pulling together to turn it round.
“They're possibly getting to the stage where they have to consider whether they want to be a competitive National League club or retain their amateur status and find their level because the two aren't matching up at the moment.
“It is not easy and I found it incredibly difficult to match the two up. It was all about creating a positive environment for the players so they would retain that belief and keep coming back for more.”
“Bournemouth is a good club run by good people but they have some difficult decisions to make.”
Lions take a break from their league schedule over the festive period and return to action with another crunch clash at home to bottom club Exmouth on Saturday, January 4.
Lions: Veneroso, Higgins, Sutherland, Chislett, Stewart, Drake, Hardcastle, Spikings, Wilford, Manning, Peart (Bovett, 49), Hennings (Khamoian, 35, Hennings, 43), Rees, Vaughan-Edwards, Booth. Unused replacements: Carrel, McGowan.
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