Injuries piled pain on Portsmouth as powerful Winchester proved too strong
Injury-hit Portsmouth found London three south west leaders Winchester too powerful for them in their 41-26 defeat at Rugby Camp.
The home side led 12-5 at the break but after losing three players to injury found the visitors too strong.
Senior coach Neil McRoberts admitted injuries took their toll on his side at a crucial time in the game.
He said: ‘We definitely looked the better team at half-time.
‘For the first 40 minutes we played some fantastic rugby.
‘Our injuries came at the start of the second half just when we looked to get increased momentum.
‘Once again though it was a hard lesson for our players to learn.
‘If you give a good side like winchester half an opportunity they will take it.
‘This is what they did.
‘They scored two quick tries and both were down to missed tackles.
‘Despite the disappointing result though it was a very positive display.’
In the early stages Portsmouth produced good defence to keep the visitors out.
Pressure eventually told however and Winchester opened the scoring with a try.
After this the hosts got into their stride but a series of good moves broke down against the solid defence of the visitors.
Eventually though Portsmouth grabbed the lead with a well-worked try scored by Mark Ovens after combining with Matt Farnes and Alex Duffus.
Will Brock added a second try to put the home side in front at the break.
At the start of the second half Portsmouth lost three players in quick succession to injury.
Rhys Bowen, Elliott Worrall and Lee Chandler all departed the pitch.
Portsmouth were forced to reorganise and Winchester quickly took advantage.
The home side refused to give up and added further tries through Spencer Bailey and Antony Fooks.
United Services Portsmouth’s miserable second half of the season continued with a 43-12 defeat by Battersea Ironsides at Burnaby Road.
Already relegated Petersfield slumped to a 50-0 defeat at Warlingham.
In Hampshire one Locksheath Pumas gained a 24-12 home win against Overton.