Havant made a disappointing start to their London one south campaign with a 35-14 defeat at Medway on Saturday.
Will Knight admitted it was a frustrating afternoon with his Hooks Lane outfit punished for their indiscipline.
‘It was a game of two halves,’ said the head coach.
‘In the first half we failed to make the most of the slope and breeze. We gave away far too many penalties.
‘That allowed Medway to stay in the game and go on to win it.
‘In terms of tries it was two apiece but the difference was the eight penalties they kicked.
‘In the second half Medway showed how to play the conditions.
‘They rolled us into the corners, kept us pinned back and put us under pressure.’
Havant fell behind to an early penalty but hit back on 10 minutes with the opening try.
A well-worked move stretched the home defence and Ben Brierley cut an excellent line to score near the posts.
Joel Knight added the conversion.
Brierley was also involved in Havant’s second try – setting up a ruck in the home twenty-two.
Jerome Trail picked up and powered over with Joel Knight again adding the extras for a 19-14 lead.
However, three penalties in quick succession at the start of the second half signalled Havant’s demise.
‘It was massively disappointing,’ added Will Knight.
‘In the second half we became strangely quiet.
‘We have got to get it right because we start the season with six or seven games away from home.’
Havant are not expected to host any games until October because they are having a new 4G pitch installed at Hooks Lane.
Portsmouth raised the curtain on their season with a 64-10 win at Millbrook in the Hampshire Bowl.
They ran in nine tries through Mark Ovens (two), Tom Hopkins (two), Simon Morgan, Rhys Bowen, Greg Hoolihan, new captain Darren Leggott and Luke Peters.
Morgan added eight conversions and a penalty.
Gosport & Fareham also progressed into the next round after opponents Fordingbridge failed to raise a team.
United Services slipped to a 65-19 defeat at Trojans in the Hampshire Plate.