Portsmouth need to kick the habit

Adam Long. Picture: Allan Hutchings (142811-918)
Adam Long. Picture: Allan Hutchings (142811-918)
Gosport & Fareham head coach Barry Bridgman. Picture: Neil Marshall (161436-4)

Gosport & Fareham aim to heap misery on Eastleigh

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Portsmouth paid the price for a poor performance with a heavy London two south west defeat at Old Reigatians.

The 45-17 result saw the hosts leapfrog the Rugby Camp club and leave them third from bottom.

Ian Chandler blamed his team’s fragile defence and poor decision-making.

‘We continue to concede far too many points and that is a habit we need to get ourselves out of,’ said the Portsmouth head coach.

‘Old Reigatians played exactly as we expected them to but our defence was far too fragile.

‘What ball we did win we didn’t use very well because we insisted on kicking our possession away.

‘That reflects the lack of confidence running through the team at the moment.

‘When we did keep the ball in hand we scored our 17 points but far too often we took the easier kicking option.

‘That played straight into our opponents’ hands and allowed them to gain momentum.’

Portsmouth started well and an Adam Long try converted by Chris Morgan put them 7-5 in front.

The hosts hit back in devastating fashion, however, scoring three tries to go into the break with a 25-7 lead.

‘We got back into it at 31-17 with a couple of tries at the start of the second half but then overstretched ourselves trying to get a losing bonus point,’ added Chandler.

‘We have to go into a room, shut the door and take a good long look at ourselves.

‘Our defence has to be a lot better between now and the end of the season.’

Fareham Heathens moved up to fourth in Hampshire one with a bruising 22-17 win at Farnborough.

The home side had two players sent off.

‘It was a dreadful game and they had their first player sent off after just 10 minutes,’ said Heathens’ Chris Lee.

‘All they wanted to do was punch, kick and stamp.’

Pita Mowi and Gareth Hullett scored tries with Cameron Guthrie kicking the rest of the points.

Leaders United Services were granted a walkover after opponents Team Solent could not raise a team.

In Hampshire two, Southsea Nomads are still searching for their first win after going down 22-10 against Ventnor.