Portsmouth crushed but Services soar

Dave Reed scores for United Services. Picture: Allan Hutchings (133268-978)
Dave Reed scores for United Services. Picture: Allan Hutchings (133268-978)

Cornborough helps England notch first victory

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Guildford proved too powerful for Portsmouth in London two south west.

The Surrey title-chasers inflicted a 69-10 defeat on the Norway Road outfit.

Guildford raced into a 43-3 half-time lead as their visitors conceded six tries.

Portsmouth restored some pride with an improved second-half performance but the game was already lost.

‘We conceded an unfortunate try straight from the kick-off and our heads went down a bit after that,’ said director of rugby Ed Neville.

‘Our forward was taken out while still in the air and to add insult to injury they scored the conversion. To fall behind in that manner after just 60 seconds certainly didn’t help.

‘Having said that, Guildford were basically stronger than us and we were overpowered.

‘Their half-back inside centre combination is the best we’ve seen for a long time.’

Dan Neville scored Portsmouth’s only first-half points with a penalty.

Scrum-half Bobby Owens then went over for a try late on – following good work from the forwards.

Neville added the conversion as Portsmouth finished with a flurry.

Winger Steve Gee grabbed a hat-trick of tries as United Services stormed to a 41-15 win over promotion rivals Farnborough at Burnaby Road.

It took Gee, recently returned from Portsmouth, just a minute to get in on the act scoring from a blindside break at a scrummage.

He added another before half-time and completed his hat-trick late on.

Chris Marriott, one try and three conversions, Dave Reed, Paddy Dods and Dave Flynn also got on the scoresheet.

‘It was a comprehensive win and reward for all the hard work the players have put in,’ said director of rugby Simon Burns.

‘Steve has had a couple of quiet games but showed what a good finisher he can be.

‘Kip Waapschot at scrum-half moved the ball quickly and that allowed us to play a running game.

‘The last thing we wanted to do was get into a forward battle with their big pack.

‘Instead we stretched them by moving the ball around and it worked.’