It may be early days but New Milton deserved their opening day position at the head of London 3 South-West after a tremendous 55-17 victory at Basingstoke.

Success was put down to some hard pre-season training with most of the tries coming in the final quarter of the match.

New Milton led 17-10 at the turnaround – Ryan Morrell converting one of his two tries and Ben Russell also going over the line.

Basingstoke levelled with a converted try but Adam Lavis put the visitors back in front when he went over.

In the final quarter Milton turned on some impressive team running and passing rugby - Nathan Smith scored a brace in three minutes, followed by tries for Tom Gould, another for Morrell and one by Chris Conacher. Morrell kicked four conversions.

Head coach Brendan Treacy said: “After one of the best pre-seasons we have had, it was very pleasing to see it all come together so early.

“The strength and conditioning work that the boys have done paid off in the last 20 minutes as we scored four tries.

“While we know it’s a long and tough season, we will enjoy our time at the top - but we won’t rest on our laurels.”

Trojans, who travel to New Milton on Saturday, took less than a minute to get their London season off to the right start.

The Stoneham Lane side put home advantage to good use to beat Warlingham 26-5.

Chris Boyd got the opening try after following up on a break from the impressive Elliot Culley and Toogi Long went over the line just before half time.

Trojans defended for long periods but extended their lead through a Josh Bowker try.

Long brought up the side’s bonus point went he touched down for a second time.

New coach Rudi Kochanowski said: “When we kept the ball we looked dangerous in attack. We’ve been working really hard on our defensive organisation throughout the summer and it was great to see that in effect today.

“As a coach you can’t ask for more than a bonus point victory on the opening day, but next week will be a real challenge.”