Portsmouth coach Ian Chandler is convinced his side can retain their London two south west status despite the 13-3 defeat by London Cornish at Rugby Camp.
Chandler enthused about his team’s performance against the third-placed visitors.
He said: ‘We have played two of the top three sides in recent games and only been one kick away from getting a bonus point in each of them.
‘Compared to what we were like earlier in the season, I think it shows we starting to turn things around.
‘We ran London Cornish close and matched them in every area apart from a little bit of accuracy.
‘I am chuffed to bits with our performance and if we can play like this for the rest of the season then we should have nothing to worry about.’
The two teams exchanged early penalties with Chris Morgan knocking over the successful home kick.
The turning point came in the 25th minute when the hosts had Tom Radbourne sent to the sin bin.
Cornish capitalised on it immediately to record a catch-and-drive try in the corner.
The score remained the same until the 70th minute when the visitors sneaked over for another try from a close-range scrum.
Portsmouth had a late chance to sneak a losing bonus point but the kick at goal went wide.
‘Despite the result it was a magnificent team performance,’ said Chandler.
‘Every single one of our players out there was prepared to put his body on the line.’
In Hampshire one, Fareham Heathens completed a league and cup double over the Isle of Wight winning 21-10 at Cams Alders.
United Services’ top-of-the-table clash against Fordingbridge was postponed.
Unbeaten Hampshire two leaders Locks Heath Pumas inflicted a 43-0 mauling on bottom-club Southsea Nomads.
The visitors scored seven tries with outside-half Ben Chambers claiming a hat-trick.
Further tries were scored by Stuart Forbes, Joel Stocker and two for Charlie Hayes.