Portsmouth count cost of slow start in second successive London 3 South West loss

Dan Sargent (with ball) was among the points in Portsmouth's loss at Weybridge Vandals
Dan Sargent (with ball) was among the points in Portsmouth's loss at Weybridge Vandals
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Portsmouth's London Three South West title ambitions suffered a second successive set-back with a 23-17 defeat at Weybridge Vandals.

It was far from easy with the combination of steady rainfall, a strong wind and a heavy pitch ruling out an expansive game.

Senior coach Neil McRoberts admits two successive defeats in the league isn't ideal.

'There wasn't a lot between the two sides,' he said.

'They adopted to the conditions better than us in the early stages.

'It took us too long to realise that it needed to be a game of close contact and ultimately that cost us.’

Playing into the elements in the first half, Robert Lumberton gave Portsmouth a seventh minute lead with a penalty.

The visitors then had to stay strong in defence as they came under increasing pressure.

Twice before the break, however, the home side were able to capitalise on loose balls to breakaway and score tries.

Three minutes into the second half Portsmouth found themselves trailing 17-3 but reduced the deficit with a converted try by prop forward Dan Sargent.

Both teams found handling difficult and this led to both teams resorting to kick and chase.

Portsmouth continued chasing the game and, despite falling further behind, a Daz Leggett try saw them reduce the deficit to three points five minutes from the end.

A final Weybridge penalty sealed Portsmouth's latest defeat.

Yet again Portsmouth were guilty of a slow start with not enough aggression.   

The second half saw an improved performance, but it was a case of too little too late.    

Portsmouth are now fourth on 22 points with just six points separating the top four.

Old Georgians were given a home walkover as US Portmouth were unable to raise a team.

Locksheath Pumas got back to winning ways in Hampshire One with a 34-17 home success against Overton.

Early on the big Overton pack caused Pumas problems and the visitors took an 7-0 lead.

As the pitch got heavier, though, the visiting forwards began to tire with the home side putting in some excellent defence.

John Pearson, Kent Streek, James McTaggart, Liam Moggeridge and Sean Nuttall made some big tackles.

This eventually told and allowed the Pumas to open up a 22-7 lead at the break thanks to tries from Nuttall, Sam Floyd and Gus Flack.

Nick de Stefano added two conversions and a penalty.

Further tries in the second period from Steve White and James Campbell nipped an Overton fightback in the bud.