Portsmouth RFC pay heavy price for ‘switching off twice’ in top of the table clash
Neil McRoberts insists Portsmouth must keep the faith following their 25-10 London 3 South West defeat against Reeds Weybridge at Rugby Camp.
The senior coach felt the final scoreline didn't reflect the display put in by the hosts.
He admitted, however, that a third successive league loss makes their promotion ambitions a bit tougher.
At the same time, he refuses to write off their chances.
'We must stick together, remain positive and keep on playing our good rugby,' said McRoberts.
'This performance and the one against Old Tiffinians would have beaten most teams in our league.
'We quickly need to get some more wins under our belt and get back in touch with the top two sides.
'If you work hard then generally the results take care of themselves.
'On this occasion, it didn't.
'Ultimately we paid the price for switching off twice during the game.
'As is always the case, the better sides punish you when you do that.
'When we got the score back to 15-10 at the start of the second half it looked like we could win it.
'If we had scored next then things might have been different.
'Unfortunately, a slight lapse on our part gave them a breakaway try.
'It was a fantastic game of rugby and lived up to its billing as a top of the table contest.’
Portsmouth played against the elements in the first half and defended well, though eventually Reeds went in front with a converted try.
The hosts levelled when Rhys Bowen claimed the touchdown from a close-range scrummage.
'After weathering the early storm we started to get ourselves more into the game,' said McRoberts.
The visitors went in at half-time with a 12-7 lead after grabbing a second try.
After the two teams swapped penalties at the start of the second period, the game was very much in the balance.
McRoberts felt it could have gone either way, saying: ‘We looked like the better side.
‘Their second half try, however, gave them a bit of breathing space.
'It was a lesson for us in having to maintain intensity and focus throughout the whole 80 minutes.'
Portsmouth slipped to fourth, 11 points behind the top two sides.
It doesn't get any easier for Portsmouth with a trip to third-placed Old Georgians next up.