Portsmouth coach Ian Chandler regretted his decision to drag himself out of his sickbed after watching his side suffer a heavy 51-23 London one south defeat to Trojans at Rugby Camp.
Chandler, laid up at home on antibiotics with tonsilitis for most of last week, felt even worse by the end of the game.
‘It wasn’t the tonic I was hoping for,’ said Chandler.
‘On the day, we were not good enough.
‘To be fair, though, the side is ravaged by injury and losing two props in the opening 20 minutes proved to be the crucial factor.
‘In the end we went to uncontested scrums, playing the last quarter with 14 men having used all our replacements.
‘That’s when Trojans got a lot of their points.
‘Altogether we had eight first team players missing and it shows what a lot of hard work there is still to do.’
The city club could not have wished for a better start against the London one south newcomers when they went seven points up in the first minute.
Trojans were pressurised from the start and outside half Dan Neville scored an interception try with Andy Barnes kicking the conversion.
‘Whether that gave us a false sense of security I am not sure but we certainly stepped off the pace a little,’ said Chandler.
Losing Ben Cuming with a twisted neck and his replacement Omid Matini to a rib injury badly affected the home side and by half-time the visitors established a 20-10 lead.
Forced to reshuffle, Portsmouth became disjointed and lost their cohesion.
Anthony Fookes did score a good individual try for the hosts, running in from half-way after a well-timed pass from Neville.
And Barnes finished with three penalties and two conversions to his name.
By the end, though, Trojans had trampled all over Portsmouth to run out comfortable winners.
‘To be fair, Trojans stuck to their basic game plan and exploited our difficulties well,’ said Chandler.
‘They played the right game.
‘Though the loss leaves us second from bottom I am not worried.
‘There are still 20 games to play and we have a lot of good players to come back.’
Portsmouth: Dufus, Gates, Barnes, Richards, Darnley, Neville, Young, Sargent, Hoolihan, Cuming, Lynch, Crabb J, Bowen, Long, Richardson. Replacements: Matini, Fooks, Carpenter.