It was a grey day for Portsmouth as Gosport & Fareham comprehensively dumped them out of the Hampshire Cup in the semi-final at Rugby Camp.
The visitors eased to a 48-11 win to earn themselves an end-of-season cup final against old rivals Havant at Gosport Park.
Portsmouth coach Ian Chandler admitted their London one south visitors proved far too powerful for his depleted team.
‘We were competitive for 45 minutes but then Gosport took the game away from us,’ said Chandler.
‘They had the likes of Ben Madigan, Chris Thompson and Wes Dugan who took charge and we didn’t have the players to constrain them.
‘When they raised the tempo of their game we couldn’t match them.
‘I learned a lot about some of the fringe players we were forced to put in, but any defeat against Gosport is hard to take.
‘Staying in London south west two is our priority though.’
Portsmouth opened brightly with a fourth-minute penalty and 12th-minute drop goal before Gosport responded with tries by Wayne Dugan and Madigan.
Both tries were converted to leave Gosport leading 12-6 at the break.
The gulf between the two teams, however, was there for all to see after the interval.
Gosport added six tries in the second half against the solitary one from Portsmouth, which came two minutes into extra-time.
Hooker Tim Snowden scored when a 46th minute kick ahead from scrum-half Wes Dugan sat up nicely to take the visitors into a 17-6 lead.
On 51 minutes, Wayne Dugan was the provider for winger Vetaia Veiteve.
Then Wayne Dugan turned try scorer three minutes later, with fly-half Alex Duncombe adding the points.
Further tries from prop Dan Gamblin and second row Mark Pollard completed the rout.
‘With all due respect to Portsmouth, the difference in class showed in the second half,’ said Gosport head coach Neil McRoberts.
‘We had a bit of a chat at half-time and laid the law down.
‘It’s the mark of a very mature side if they know when they are not quite doing it as well as they should.
‘Our players set a marker down to show they were the best team here and they blew Portsmouth away in the first 20 minutes of the second half.
‘It’s our first away win in 14 months and the manner in which we did it was important.
‘We really picked up the intensity in the second half in what wasn’t particularly great conditions.
‘When we get our phases together and our big powerful runners up the middle of the park, it makes it much easier for our wide players to take advantage.’