Dreadnoughts defeat hands Cheetahs crown

Portsmouth Dreadnoughts head coach Luke Head-Rapson Picture: Vernon Nash
Portsmouth Dreadnoughts head coach Luke Head-Rapson Picture: Vernon Nash
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THE Portsmouth Dreadnoughts have missed out on the SFC South division two title.

That’s after they suffered a 20-0 defeat – their first of the season – at the hands of the Hertfordshire Cheetahs, who subsequently went on to lift the crown.

Head coach Luke Head-Rapson said his side were simply not good enough on the day – two weeks after his troops beat the newly-crowned champions 23-12.

‘The whole team is disappointed,’ he said.

‘I know a few of the players are disappointed about their performance.

‘But Hertfordshire were better than we were, it is as simple as that.

‘Everyone is pretty upset and angry.

‘We are hoping to get back on the horse this week, though, and then get our minds ready for the play-offs. 

‘We have to move on and focus on what’s next.’

The Dreadnoughts went behind in the first play of the game, after the Cheetahs offence ran the ball downfield for a touchdown.

They missed the two-point conversion to lead 6-0.

The visitors were forced to punt the ball for many of their first-half plays.

After the break, the Dreadnoughts pushed upfield and got in position for a field goal. But their 25-yard effort was blocked.

Before the quarter came to an end, the hosts extended their lead to 12-0 through another touchdown.

And they put the game – and the division title – out of the Dreadnoughts' reach with a touchdown in the final moments of the game.

This time, they converted the extra two points.

Head-Rapson said his side were too inconsistent and that is something they need to focus on.

‘Our offence need a more consistent performance and the defence need to do better on turnovers,’ he added.

‘We didn't take our opportunities, we had them but didn't take advantage.’

The Dreadnoughts travel to Hastings on Sunday for their final division game.

Head Rapson said:’We haven't had a big gap between the two games and we now have one eye on the play-offs. 

'We will probably look to rest some our key players or they will play less than usual.

'We have to secure our ranking for the play-offs.'