WITH two losses from two games, Portsmouth Dreadnoughts head coach Luke Head-Rapson has called on his team to use their three-week break to cut out silly mistakes and turn their fortunes around.
The Dreadnoughts fell to a 17-6 defeat against the East Kent Mavericks on Sunday after losing their British America Football Association (BAFA) National League south west season opener 24-14 to Bournemouth Bobcats.
Head-Rapson praised flashes of ability from his side but was left to rue costly errors he will now look to help prevent.
He said: ‘During the next three weeks we will be working on consistency.
‘The offence showed flashes of the abilities they have and there were a few drives they executed very well.
‘But ultimately they couldn’t maintain it throughout the game so we will be working on consistency.
‘We want people to be fresh and not fatigued so we will look at rotation too.
‘We want to work on special teams and cut out silly mistakes that gave us bad field positions and cost us points.’
The Dreadnoughts (0-2) slipped to defeat against the Mavericks (2-0) at Simon Langton Grammar School despite starting the game strongly.
The home side won the toss and elected to receive.
But a good start by the Dreadnoughts defence took the Mavericks three and out on the first drive.
The Dreadnoughts’ strong form continued as the quarter went on with defensive-back Adam Cleaver tackling hard with some excellent play on special teams.
But with the first quarter drawing to a close the Mavericks took the lead. They got the extra point and started the second quarter 7-0.
The Dreadnoughts did not let the early touchdown set them back.
Late into the second quarter, after some great running from running-back James Newman, fullback Will Purkiss managed to score for the Dreadnoughts. They went for the two-point conversion but were unsuccessful and the score stood at 7-6.
The Dreadnoughts started the third quarter strongly with Newman continuing his second quarter form by carrying the Dreadnoughts up the field. But they were unable to take advantage of the good position.
Early in the fourth quarter the Mavericks punted and the ball landed on the one-yard line.
Dreadnoughts quarterback Stu Rees was tackled inside his own end-zone causing a safety and the Mavericks extended their lead to 9-6.
From the next play, the Dreadnoughts punted the ball to the Mavericks who got a good field position.
The following play produced a 40-yard passing touchdown, with the extra two points making it 17-6.
As the game drew to a close, the Dreadnoughts’ defence managed to hold firm to see the match out.
Head-Rapson said: ‘The game went okay. It is disappointing especially after last week against the Bournemouth Bobcats when I thought we could get a better result.
‘We played very well on defence again but the offence were somewhat lacking. A few special-team mistakes also cost us in some parts of the game.
‘We have been unfortunate coming up against some very tough opposition and the Mavericks look like they will be up there at the end of the season.
‘Hopefully we can turn it round and get a win next time out.’