Portsmouth suffered only their second home defeat of the season as they lost 24-6 against high-flying Chichester in London south one.
The power of the Chichester pack finally told in the second half but coach Ian Chandler felt the final scoreline flattered the visitors.
‘It was all about performance rather than the result for us,’ said Chandler.
‘After suffering a heavy defeat at Chichester early in the season, we were looking for a huge improvement.
‘We certainly delivered on that front.
‘The difference was in experience where Chichester showed they were prepared to concede penalties to stop tries.
‘Our youngsters were a bit more naive.
‘We knew it would be tough when we only had a narrow lead at half-time but when the opposition did take charge we defended well.
‘With all the possession they had in the second 40 minutes we did well to restrict them to what they got.’
Portsmouth dominated the first half and but for their over-eagerness would have led by more.
They got themselves into some good scoring positions but failed to make them count.
Veteran Neil Styles, called up as a last-minute replacement, knocked over one of Portsmouth’s two penalties.
Styles found himself in the action after only five minutes when centre Chris Ealey was stretchered off to hospital with a back injury.
The later news on Ealey was positive and he expects to be back playing within a month.
Portsmouth defended well in the second half but a couple of ‘immature’ decisions saw them concede good field positions from which Chichester scored.
Chichester’s final try at the death came when Portsmouth attacked from their own 22 and the move broke down allowing the number eight to go in under the posts.
‘One of our goals was to stop Chichester getting a bonus point and we did that,’ said Chandler.
‘We are not going up or down this season so we are starting to experiment ready for next season.
‘This year was all about stopping the slide and we have achieved that.’