Dreadnoughts told to target play-offs

WE NEED to push for a winning season.

Friday, 16th June 2017, 1:18 pm
Updated Monday, 19th June 2017, 12:41 pm
Zac Edwards attempts to fend off a tackle during the Dreadnoughts game with the Berkshire Renegades on Sunday Picture: Keith Woodland

That is the call from Portsmouth Dreadnoughts head coach Luke Head-Rapson as his team slipped to their second defeat of the season.

The Dreadnoughts took on Berkshire Renegades at Hooks Lane at the weekend.

But despite going ahead 5-0, the game finished 45-5 to the visitors.

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Head-Rapson said his troops now need to win at least three of their remaining five games to have their best season to date.

‘​We have to push towards the play-offs,’ he said.

‘We are on three wins and two loses with five games left. If we win three of our remaining games we will have a winning season, while four wins puts us in contention for the play-offs.

‘We need to beat Hastings Conquerors twice and Bournemouth Bobcats, plus one of the games ​against​ Herfordshire Cheetahs – it will be tough.

​‘Unfortunately, we haven’t put ourselves in the best position but we are still in with a shout of reaching the play-offs.’

The Dreadnoughts played host to the Renegades for only their second home game of the season on Sunday.

Both sides started the game determined to push upfield quickly but the defences stood strong and the first quarter finished scoreless.

The homeside then took the lead in the first few minutes of the second quarter.

With Berkshire on the ball, Tom Bonser tackled the quarterback for a sack in the endzone, scoring a safety and securing two points.

Their lead was extended to 5-0 shortly afterwards when George Evans kicked a field goal after the first attempt was flagged for a foul.

But the Dreadnoughts failed to capitalise on their early lead and the visitors pulled ahead with a touchdown.

They failed to gain the extra point, making it 6-5 at the end of the half.

In the third quarter, Berkshire gained momentum.

Two quick touchdowns and success in getting extra points saw them pull ahead 20-5, meanwhile the hosts failed to make their chances count.

With the game clock ticking on, the visitors took advantage of a tired Dreadnoughts team and put the ball in the endzone four more times. The game finished 45-5.

Head-Rapson said the team lost belief as the match progressed.

‘We started well and the offence were in great positions several times but weren’t able to get the touchdown,’ he added.

‘We took some risks and scored a good field goal but we should have got a couple more.

‘What led to the defeat was our team lost belief, they lost faith that they could do it.

‘When we went down in the second half by a score and more than a score, it became a real issue for the guys to believe they could get back in there​.’

​The Dreadnoughts face Hastings Conquerors away on June 25.