Brock-solid Portsmouth stand firm
Portsmouth maintained their perfect home record with a hard-fought 17-14 win against Battersea Ironsides at Rugby Camp.
The win allowed the hosts to consolidate third spot in London three south west.
Jim Pearce was delighted to see his team edge to victory in a close affair.
‘It was a hard-fought win in what was a good game of rugby,’ said Portsmouth’s director of rugby.
‘We had to play for the whole 80 minutes and grind out the win.
‘I felt we attacked and defended well in a contest that went right to the death.
‘Battersea put us under a bit of pressure at the end but we kept them out.’
Portsmouth started on the front foot but Battersea showed why they possess the best defensive record in the division.
However, two yellow cards in quick succession saw the visitors reduced to 13 men and Portsmouth made it count on 26 minutes.
Outside-half Gareth Richards made good ground before scrum-half Alex Duffus raced in from just outside the twenty-two.
Lee Chandler added the conversion.
Ten minutes later full-back Stuart Davies added a second try before Battersea fought back – with two converted efforts – to lead early in the second period.
The decisive Portsmouth score arrived in the 66th minute when Will Brock crossed the whitewash.
United Services stormed to a 56-0 win over Fordingbridge at Burnaby Road.
The comprehensive success means unbeaten Services keep their two-point lead at the top of Hampshire One.
Player-coach Rich Neil is delighted with the progress being made by the team.
‘It was a fantastic win and the result of a good all-round performance,’ he said.
‘It is the first time we have prevented our opponents getting on the scoreboard.
‘The opening 20 minutes were fairly even but after that we started to dominate.
‘Our back row were phenomenal, as were our back three.’
Winger Sam Masters cashed in with a hat-trick, with further scores coming from number eight Ollie Bowles, scrum-half Ben Smith and prop Billy Rolfe.