Portsmouth RFC ‘architects of our own downfall’ as they suffer fourth successive London League loss

Neil McRoberts admits these are tough times for Portsmouth following their 40-11 London 3 South West defeat at Old Georgians.

Sunday, 17th November 2019, 4:40 pm
Updated Sunday, 17th November 2019, 5:06 pm
Ben Smith kicked two penalties for Portsmouth in their heavy loss at Old Georgians

It was a massive disappointment for the senior coach who was hoping his side would end their losing run.

The fourth successive league defeat put another massive dent in the city club's promotion ambitions.

'We are in a difficult place at the moment,' said McRoberts.

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'Not a lot went right for us, partly because of our own making and partly through some bad luck.

'The game was played on a fast surface and we were nowhere near accurate enough, particularly when we had the ball.

'Also if you cough the ball up cheaply then you are going to find yourself on the wrong end of a scoreline.

'That is what happened to us.

'At least four of their tries we gifted to them through loose play.

'Basically we were the architects of our own downfall.'

The visitors produced a lacklustre first half and trailed 12-3 at the break.

Ben Smith kicked the Portsmouth penalty and added a second early in the second period.

After Old Georgians stretched their lead to 26-6. the visitors hit back for their only try. From a line-out ten yards out a catch and drive was set in motion and ended with Dan Sargent crossing wide out.

Smith's conversion bounced back off the upright.

'Losing four successive league games is not ideal,' said McRoberts.

'It has knocked confidence a bit but there is still a lot of rugby to be played.

'Afterwards we had an honest talk about the situation and made a commitment to each other.

'We have not become a bad team over the last month.

'It is a blip in form but one we need to nip in the bud.

'We need to get some winning performances in quick.

'It is vital that we stick together and be prepared to get stuck in.'

The defeat means Portsmouth slip to fifth, 11 points behind the top two.

Gosport & Fareham slipped deeper into relegation trouble with a 52-10 home defeat against Basingstoke.