Dreadnoughts ready to build on first win

Portsmouth Dreadnoughts against Hastings Conquerors. Picture: Paul Jacobs (151030-7)
Portsmouth Dreadnoughts against Hastings Conquerors. Picture: Paul Jacobs (151030-7)
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SPIRITS were high for the Portsmouth Dreadnoughts after they secured their first win of the season.

Two early touchdowns against home-side Hastings Conquerors saw them control most of the game on Sunday.

Head coach Luke Head-Rapson praised his side and said getting the first win of the season was a big relief.

‘It feels great to win the first game and I am extremely proud of the players,’ he said.

‘It is like getting a monkey off your back and it is a big relief. Hopefully it will allow the guys to play more confidently going forward.’

The Dreadnoughts started the game strong with their early touchdown easing any game-day nerves.

Running back James Newman ran the ball into the endzone from the one-yard line following a poor punt by Hastings in the opening minutes of the game.

The two-point conversion was missed and the Dreadnoughts took the lead 6-0.

The away side’s comfortable lead was boosted with a second touchdown.

Full-back Will Purkiss ran the ball into the endzone from the 15-yard line making the scoreline 12-0 at the end of the first-quarter.

Line-backer Tom Bonsor showed his strength throughout the second-half.

But Hastings finally broke through after a special team’s fake field goal put the home side on the Dreadnoughts two-yard line.

They ran the ball into the endzone and converted the two points making it 12-8 at half-time.

The Dreadnoughts started the third-quarter as they did the first half with a second touchdown of the game for Purkiss. It followed a great block from receiver James Furze.

Newman scored their first conversion of the game and they extended their lead to 20-8.

Hastings ran in the touchdown to respond but missed out on the two points making it 20-14.

It was a nervous end to the game as the Dreadnoughts battled to victory.

Coach Head-Rapson had praise for the scorers. He said: ‘I was impressed with Newman as well as Purkiss who had some great punting as well as two touchdowns.’

He hopes the win will be a turning point in the Dreadnoughts season as they aim to build on this improved performance.

‘Hopefully the team feels a lot better about going into the next game,’ he added.

‘We lost the first two games and although it didn’t seem like spirits were dipping, you never know.

‘It is a very competitive division and I think we are in a good position to turn this season around.

‘Hopefully we can end this season with a good record.’

The Dreadnoughts play their first home game of the season at Havant Rugby Club on Sunday (2.30pm).