Portsmouth halt losing streak

Ben Smith gets United Services moving forward. Picture: Sarah Standing (143483-1225)
Ben Smith gets United Services moving forward. Picture: Sarah Standing (143483-1225)
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Portsmouth ended their London two south west losing streak with a crucial 28-15 win over Farnham at Rugby Camp.

Head coach Ian Chandler breathed a sigh of relief as his side chalked up their first success in six games.

The hosts, who moved up two places to ninth in the table, endured some anxious moments in the first half before making their superiority count against the bottom club.

‘It wouldn’t be Portsmouth if we didn’t make hard work of it,’ said Chandler.

‘The importance of winning the game got to the players early on and we were very nervous.

‘We kicked the ball aimlessly away, allowing them to score two tries in two minutes.

‘After we hit back with two tries of our own, there was only going to be one winner.’

Simon Morgan kicked a penalty with Adam Long and Tom Smith adding the tries in the first half.

Portsmouth took charge in the second period as Gareth Richards scored and Long grabbed his second.

‘We won well in the end and that should help restore a bit more confidence,’ said Chandler.

‘When we were losing, we needed our big players to step up and thankfully they did. It was an important win.’

Elsewhere, United Services maintained their 100-per-cent record at the top of Hampshire one with a 36-3 win over Bognor at Burnaby Road.

Fareham Heathens won the mid-table battle against Petersfield 27-10 at Cam Alders.

And Locks Heath Pumas came through their toughest test yet in Hampshire two to win 16-10 at Ventnor.

‘We had to show our character after conceding 10 points in as many minutes at the start,’ said Pumas coach Jim Pearce.

‘Our mental strength got us through.’

The Pumas clawed back the deficit to go in level at the break with a penalty and conversion from Nic Di Stefano and a Stuart Forbes try.

Two further Di Stefano penalties then sealed the win.