No need to rip up Portsmouth plans as winless start goes on after Weybridge Vandals defeat

Portsmouth Rugby Club head coach Gareth Richards says he'll stick by his principles after his side's slow start to the season.

Monday, 4th October 2021, 4:43 pm
Portsmouth head coach Gareth Richards. Picture: Neil Marshall (171124-384)

Weybridge Vandals made it three London 3 South West defeats on the spin to begin the campaign as Richards' troops went down 10-0 on the road.

The Portsmouth head coach took great confidence from his side's first-half showing, but was left greatly disappointed with their effort after the restart - albeit it in terribly tough conditions.

Portsmouth have now lost to Weybridge, Trojans and Andover this term - yet Richards is adamant now is not time to start changing ideas – instead he continues to believe the current plan is the right way to go.

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He said: ‘I’m still confident what we’re trying to do is the right thing. It would be easy to panic and go, ‘oh my god, we need to change everything,’ but I don’t think we do.

‘We’ve lost in the last play of the game in the first two games - those two games could have easily gone the other way. We’d then be looking halfway up the table rather then the bottom end of it.

‘I’m not overly worried at this point, there are definitely things we need to improve - but I’m confident if we stick to what we’re being asked and we execute more accurately then we’ll come good.’

In dreadful conditions, Portsmouth trailed 3-0 to a solitary Weybridge penalty at the break.

It was the hosts who then picked up the only try of the match after the restart as the visitors' went down 10-0.

And Richards was left deeply frustrated by Portsmouth's failure to build on what he felt was a determined first-half display.

‘I was disappointed after Saturday, if I’m honest. It was absolutely dreadful conditions but we battled really hard in the first half against those conditions,’ said Richards.

‘I thought we defended brilliantly in that half (first half). Weybridge Vandals had a very good kicker who was trying to pin us back and we coped with that very well, going in 3-0 down at half time.

‘I said to the players I felt the game was then there for us to go and take, get control of, I honestly thought second half we were going to come out and turn them over but we just didn’t do it.’

Portsmouth have a weekend off before returning to action with Petersfield the visitors to Rugby Camp on October 16.