Delight for Dudley as Portsmouth open account

Simon Morgan. Picture: Malcolm Wells (150289-0646)
Simon Morgan. Picture: Malcolm Wells (150289-0646)
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Portsmouth celebrated their first London two south west win of the season with a narrow 11-9 success at London Exiles.

It was a first league triumph for new coach Ben Dudley, who was impressed with the way his team closed it out.

‘It is terrific to get off the mark,’ he said.

‘The game certainly wasn’t one for the purists and I felt we could have gone on to win by more.

‘We had the ascendancy in the forwards but they were a young fit side who wanted to run us around.

‘Defensively we were very sound and controlled long portions of the game.

‘We showed good concentration and composure and didn’t concede a try.’

Simon Morgan gave Portsmouth an early lead with a penalty but the scores were tied at 3-3 at the break.

The visitors fell behind to a further penalty at the start of the second half only to hit back with a good try when prop Ryan Wilkie forced his way over after a driving maul.

Exiles notched another penalty but Morgan kicked one of his own from 40 metres to win the game.

Director of rugby Matt Davis admitted United Services were well beaten in their 29-17 London three south west loss to Farnham.

‘Sometimes you have to be prepared to put your hand up and say you were beaten by a better team,’ said Davis.

‘Farnham were better than us all over the pitch.

‘I couldn’t fault our players’ effort – they gave everything.’

Services’ points came from Will Rolfe and Dougie Randall tries, a Ben Smith penalty and two Keith Molyneux conversions.

A last-minute converted try condemned Southsea Nomads to a 35-28 Hampshire two defeat by Alton at Furze Lane.

Coach Jamie Clayson had praise for his team, though.

‘A loss is always hard to stomach when it is so close,’ he said.

‘It was by far our best performance of the season and could quite easily have had a different outcome.’

Aaron Beesley scored two tries and added four conversions, with Hamish Bethany and Ben Short also touching down.