Serious injury to captain Daz Leggott caps a day to forget for Portsmouth at Old Tiffinians
Portsmouth endured a day to forget as they crashed to a 52-21 London Three South West defeat at Old Tiffinians.
Little went right for the visitors as it brought to an end their three-game winning start to the decade.
But the game was overshadowed by a serious injury to Portsmouth captain Daz Leggott, who suffered a dislocated ankle.
‘The day started well enough with us weathering the early storm playing against the wind,’ said senior coach Neil McRoberts.
‘We then lost Daz and were forced to move the game to another pitch as we waited for an ambulance.
‘The game became a bit disjointed after that and it knocked us out of our stride.
‘Still, when we got it back to 19-7 10 minutes before the break, I thought we had an opportunity.
‘Criminally, at that point we fell asleep and allowed them three tries.
‘In the second half, we lost other players in key areas to injury.
‘It meant that we had to reshuffle our forwards twice, which was highly disruptive.
‘Ultimately, the difference between the two sides was that they were far more clinical than us at taking their chances.
‘At around the hour mark we were guilty of butchering at least three or four good scoring opportunities.’
The visitors' first-half score arrived when prop forward Dan Sargeant charged over from close range.
It was a fitting way to cap his final appearance for Portsmouth before returns to National League side Worthing.
After the break, Noah Cannon added a second try after Bryn Rainsford had stolen a Tiffs line-out ball.
Rainsford then got in on the act when he gathered his own kick to go over close to the posts.
Disappointingly, the visitors failed to turn their pressure into a fourth bonus-point try.
For the losers, Will Rolfe carried the ball well and Rainsford did well in the line-outs.
‘Although they managed to put our captain's dislocated ankle back, he is going to be in a boot for six weeks,’ added McRoberts.
‘It was a nasty injury and he has to go back and have scans to check for further damage.’
Also in London Three South West, Gosport & Fareham slipped deeper into relegation trouble with a 22-14 defeat at Andover.