Fooks lauded as Portsmouth beat Vandals

Anthony Fooks. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (171564-1)
Anthony Fooks. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (171564-1)
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Portsmouth overcame a slow start to close the gap on the London three south west leaders on Saturday.

Coach Jason Ford saluted the Rugby Camp outfit after they shook themselves into action and chalked up a 33-15 win at Weybridge Vandals.

Director of rugby Jim Pearce then paid tribute to wing-forward Anthony Fooks, who touched down for his 23rd try of the season in another superb display.

‘Maybe it was because we hadn’t played for two weeks that for the first 20 minutes we were very sluggish,’ said Ford.

‘To be fair, Weybridge – who are fighting to stay up – threw everything at us.

‘Eventually, though, we woke up and had the game virtually won by half-time.

‘When we started playing we looked a good unit.

‘But once we got ourselves well in front we committed the usual Portsmouth sin of taking our foot off the pedal.’

Fooks, Curtis Barnes, Finn Parry, Luke Peters and Tom Whitehouse claimed the Portsmouth tries.

Pearce believes Fooks has come on in leaps and bounds this season.

‘Anthony plays at wing-forward and is often on the end of our driving mauls,’ said the director of rugby.

‘This season, though, he has also scored tries with his great support running.

‘He is starting to develop into the wing-forward we always knew he could be.

‘It is his desire to get into the supporting positions that marks him out.’

Portsmouth are now six points off second-placed Old Emanuel.

Old Cranleighans are top of the table – a further four points ahead.

United Services moved closer to the Hampshire one title and promotion after beating Sandown & Shanklin 31-12 at Burnaby Road.

Gosport & Fareham were awarded four points after Old Tonbridgians were unable to field a side for their London two south west game at Gosport Park.