Things looking up for Portsmouth Rugby Club after securing successive victories for first time this season with Alton win

Head coach Gareth Richards has set his sights on continuing to mastermind Portsmouth Rugby Club's march up the London 3 South West standings after they climbed two places and into ninth with victory over Alton.

By Lewis Mason
Monday, 31st January 2022, 8:37 am

Portsmouth blew their opposition away with a blistering start at Rugby Camp, eventually running out 27-15 winners, securing successive victories for the first time all season.

Having started the day in 11th, they managed to end it sitting in ninth position - moving to within five points of the Alton side they defeated - currently in eighth - although they have played a game more.

And Richards is now looking to use the momentum from back-to-back victories to propel Portsmouth further up the division in the weeks ahead.

Luke Peters made it three tries in two outings after his score in Portsmouth's win over Alton Picture: Neil Marshall

‘We’re up to ninth now and there’s not a lot between us and the teams around us,’ said a delighted Richards.

'When you look at it, we’ve played two top sides in the league post-Christmas, they’ve (Alton; sitting in eighth) have still got to play Petersfield next week and they’ll have to play Warlingham as well which will be a really tough battle.

‘I’m hoping they will perhaps have a slip-up and we might be able to put the pressure on them and get a little bit higher up the league.’

Portsmouth continued where they left off after the welcome win over Old Georgians last time out. Tries from Brad Atkins and Luke Peters - his third in two outings - followed an earlier converted penalty from Gareth Davies to hand the hosts a 17-0 advantage after just 11 minutes.

Portsmouth's Aaron Beesley was forced off with a knee injury in Portsmouth's win over Alton Picture: Stuart Martin (220421-7042)

Stunned Alton got themselves on the scoreboard with a penalty of their own after 22 minutes but Aaron Beesley's unconverted try capped a superb opening 40 minutes for Portsmouth, who held a 22-3 half-time lead.

The home side suffered the double blow of losing second row Elliott Worrall to a broken rib and Beesley with a serious-looking knee injury soon after the restart.

Added to that, Alton grabbed their first try while Matt Hoban was sent to the sin-bin as Portsmouth were pegged back to 22-8 with a brief man disadvantage.

But any nerves were settled as Ant Fooks grabbed the fourth try bonus-point for the hosts and although Alton replied with a second try score, Portsmouth held on for victory which took them up two places to ninth in the table.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

Get 30 per cent off our sport subscription, which gives readers unlimited access to all our Pompey and grassroots coverage for just 9p a day, by using the promo code JanSports30. The deal expires at midnight on January 31.