Battle of Hastings pleases Dreadnoughts boss

Portsmouth Dreadnoughts got their campaign back on track with an emphatic 58-6 win over the Hastings Conquerors.

Friday, 30th June 2017, 12:48 pm
Updated Tuesday, 18th July 2017, 8:25 am
Portsmouth Dreadnoughts' Jake Smith. Picture: Neil Marshall (170305-1)

Head coach Luke Head-Rapson said he was delighted with his side’s performance at Hastings & Bexhill Rugby Club last weekend.

It was the Dreadnoughts’ biggest-ever win and the most touchdowns they have scored in a game.

Head-Rapson said: ‘It is brilliant to get the win. Losing against Berkshire Renegades wasn’t a good feeling, so to get this win is good.

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‘Losing is not what this team is working towards and it is not why we push hard and practice.

‘Although it was a big win, there were areas where we could have improved.

‘There were drops, penalties and mistakes, so I am not overly confident but I do feel we can build on this win.’

The Dreadnoughts pulled ahead at Hastings shortly after kick-off with quarterback Jason Packer throwing the ball to John Cowen who ran it into the endzone for a 6-0 lead.

That was soon added to when running back Will Purkiss rushed the ball for a touchdown. They secured the extra point to lead 13-0.

But Hastings got back into the game as the second quarter started, catching the ball and finding the endzone to make it 13-6.

However, the Dreadnoughts did not let it faze them and soon took control.

Wide receiver Jake Smith went on to score the Dreadnoughts’ third and fourth touchdowns before safety Matt Timms intercepted the ball to give the offence another chance on the pitch.

Parker took full of advantage and ran the ball in for a fifth score to give the visitors a 34-6 half-time lead.

After the break, they continued their momentum and kicker George Evans made it 37-6 with a field goal.

Smith, who earned high praise from Head-Rapson after the game, then scored two more touchdowns.

With the final quarter still to go, the Dreadnoughts pushed on – still keen to add more to their tally.

And Smith finished the scoring with his fifth of the game.

The Dreadnoughts do not have time to rest on their laurels, though.

They face the Bournemouth Bobcats on Sunday at Hooks Lane in Havant at 2.30pm – their first back-to-back of the season.

Head-Rapson added: ‘It is tiring playing back-to-back games and you get niggling injuries that carry over.

‘We have less time to prepare and adapt to Bournemouth’s game but hopefully we can take the momentum of the win into the match.

‘If we do win, it will be our fifth of the season – a record for the team.

‘It will also give us a good chance of the play-offs as we need three wins from our last four games.

‘We could sneak in with two wins but that would give us a tough time and not an ideal situation.’