Portsmouth coach lauds team spirit after Tadley victory

Reuben Knight finds space to run in one of Havant's nine tries. Picture: Neil Marshall (180422-190)

Knight: We’ll be back

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PORTSMOUTH coach Ian Chandler praised the spirit of his players as they bounced back from a heavy loss to earn a hard-fought 21-15 success over Tadley in London two south west.

The Rugby Camp chief saw his side humbled 36-0 at Tottonians last time out but watched on with pride as they came from behind to earn a second-successive home win.

‘After last week’s display when we didn’t perform as well as we would have liked against Tottonians, we showed all the spirit and fightback that we were looking for,’ said Chandler.

‘From a coaching perspective the players showed that they had bottle.

‘We were physical in the confrontation and won our individual battles which was the most important thing.’

Harry Wilson, Bobby Owen and Adam Long all crossed the whitewash for the hosts, with the boot of Chris Morgan ensuring a six-point victory – after Chandler’s men had trailed at the break.

He added: ‘We played against the wind in the first half and were 15-11 down.

‘But we didnt concede a point in the second half.

‘It’s still early doors but we have now won both our home games and lost once on our travels – we’ll be alright.’

United Services picked up where they left off with an emphatic 65-7 Hampshire one win over Romsey.

Graeme Butterworth’s side thrashed Isle of Wight 65-14 in their curtain-raiser last weekend and were in inspired form again at Burnaby Road.

Luke Peters grabbed a hat-trick on his return from New Zealand and was ably assisted on the scoresheet by Chris Marriot (two), Martin Hoskins, Ben Smith, Will Rolfe and Liam Gaygan.

Number eight Sam Porter was named man of the match while 18-year-old flanker Guy Snowey and captain Gareth Guyll also impressed.

Services director of rugby Matt Davis said: ‘It was a lot harder than the scoreline suggested but we played to our game plan and it worked well, so we’re very happy.

‘We kept the ball, turned over possession well and were strong defensively.’

Southsea Nomads slipped to a 24-8 home defeat to Alresford in Hampshire two.