WILL Croker watched Bournemouth return to the victory trail with a 63-0 win against Newton Abbot before revealing their first defeat of the season had refocused the South West Premier leaders.

Lions extended to seven points their lead at the summit of the division after running in nine tries at Chapel Gate on Saturday.

The dominant win over All Whites delivered an emphatic response to the disappointing display against Maidenhead a week previously.

Having witnessed a below-par performance at The Mote, head coach Croker expressed his delight at Bournemouth's professionalism in the face of "potential banana skin" Newton Abbot.

"The week before had been a sobering affair," said Croker.

"We did not think we were unbeatable, but the defeat meant this game was all about getting back into shape and regaining some order in our game plan.

"We are an experienced team, we have been together a long time and we know what pushes each other's buttons.

"I knew the defeat, while not ideal, would help the boys because it made them re-galvanise and think about what we did so well in the early parts of the season.

"They dusted themselves down, got back on the horse and went again.

"Newton Abbot only lost to Barnstaple by three points the previous week and, as I looked through their teamsheet, it looked like all the same players that we had such hard-fought battles with in the past few seasons.

"We thought it could be a potential banana skin. When you look at the league position and get a bit complacent you can come under pressure.

"The boys needed to send a message and show the Maidenhead game was a blip. They did that with great effect."

Dan Stewart scored his first ever treble for Bournemouth, Sam Hardcastle crossed the whitewash twice, while Joe Tarrant, Scott Chislett, Ali Bennett and Adam Higgins also touched down.

Adam Davies delivered six conversions and two penalty kicks to help Lions reach the 50-point mark for the third time this season.

Alongside an impressive attacking display, Croker praised the first defensive shut-out since the opening-day victory at Old Patesians.

"We have come to be known for our defence conceding so few points across the season, but to get a nil is always difficult in rugby," said Croker.

"It only takes a penalty anywhere inside 40 metres and, with a kicker like Tom Putt, you would expect Newton Abbot to be putting points on the board.

"We showed incredible discipline, not just in our tackles, but also to make sure we did not concede points.

"We scored some wonderful tries. We have some great players and when we stick to the game plan that Jon (Sanchez) and myself have put in place, then we are match for anybody in this league and, I hope, the league above.

"When we start trying to force it, or we do not stick to the rules, it can get a bit sticky, but Saturday it was so controlled and they did exactly what they were asked to do.

"I knew it was going to be a good day right from the very first warm-up. You could see an intensity and accuracy about everything the boys did."