Patched-up Portsmouth make coach proud

Ian Chandler. Picture: Mick Young (112783-17)
Ian Chandler. Picture: Mick Young (112783-17)
England Women players celebrate victory after the 2017 Women's World Cup, Semi Final match at the Kingspan Stadium, Belfast. Picture: Brian Lawless/ PA Images

Cornborugh starts as England reach World Cup final

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Portsmouth slumped to a 53-23 defeat at unbeaten London two south west league leaders London Cornish.

The Rugby Camp club could only field six regular first-teamers after their squad had been ravaged by illness and paid the price for a lack of experience.

Head coach Ian Chandler had no complaints.

‘I was pleased with the way we stuck at it and were still in the game at the halfway mark,’ said the coach.

‘We were forced to field a new front row and make changes in the back row.

‘Three players were making their debut and another was having his first game as hooker.

‘They all did well and gave it their all.’

Meanwhile, United Services maintained their unbeaten record in Hampshire one with an impressive 40-20 win at Fordingbridge.

Marc Oakes ran in five tries as Fareham Heathens cruised to a 43-7 away win on the Isle of Wight.

The home side had no answer to Oakes, who started on the wing before moving into the centre later in the game.

Heathens opened up in devastating fashion, scoring 24 points in as many minutes.

It took another 40 minutes before they added to their tally before finishing strongly.

Matt Smith and Pete Toland also scored tries with Cam Guthrie and Oak adding two conversions each.

‘I can’t be too critical after that result,’ said Heathens coach Bernie Rhodes.

‘The long period when we didn’t score was disappointing, though.’

Locks Heath Pumas stormed to the top of Hampshire two with a 54-0 win over Southsea Nomads.

Stuart Forbes scored twice, while Matt Thurston, James Campbell, Stuart Forbes, Miles Carter, Damien Sambrook, Scott Morris and Alex Ainscow all notched tries.

Andy Hamlett, Liam Moggeridge and Morris all added points with their 
boots.

‘It is a nice feeling to be at the top,’ said coach Jim Pearce.

‘If we had swung the ball out wide more rather than trying to take on the well-drilled Nomads forwards we could have won by more.’