Spitfires shot down

Ryan Bateman is action for the Seahawks. Picture: Sarah Standing (121752-4652)
Ryan Bateman is action for the Seahawks. Picture: Sarah Standing (121752-4652)
Luke Simmons slides in for the opening try. Picture: Neil Marshall (171730-1)

Portsmouth closing in on Twickenham dream

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Seahawks overwhelmed Southampton Spitfires 72-14 to snatch derby success and a place in the quarter-finals of the Regional Challenge Cup.

The Portsmouth-based navy outfit dominated their south-coast rivals, opening up a healthy lead courtesy of tries from Jordan Humphries, Darren Bamford, Christian Jones and Dane Smallbone.

Alex Herron, Wayne John, Lee Norman and Gareth Jones also found their way on to the scoresheet as the Burnaby Road side progressed to the next round.

The Seahawks relished their break from the league campaign – where they have won just one of their first three fixtures.

And with local bragging rights on offer, they were fired up from the first whistle.

James Wagstaffe was soon sent to the sin bin for a dangerous tackle, though, as he aimed to stamp his authority on the game.

Portsmouth reacted positively, dug deep and defended well in his absence.

They soon set up home in the Spitfires’ half and great distribution from half- back John led to Jones crossing the line for the first score of his hat-trick.

Portsmouth continued to dominate for the majority of the first half.

And at 32-0, they were in complete control – only for Southampton to find a hole in the defensive line and Tom Barnes charged over.

Regardless, the Seahawks made changes at the break – giving some of their new recruits a first taste of rugby league.

Gareth Jones, brother of Christian, took great delight in scoring on his debut.

And he linked well with wing partner Humphries, who scored a hat-trick of tries.

Full-back Darren Bamford replaced injured captain Smallbone and went on to score a superb individual effort – chipping over the defence, then running through the Spitfires’ line to collect the ball and score under the posts.

Once again, towards the end of the second half the home side let their guard down.

But the two late tries from Southampton were never more than consolations.

Seahawks visit Southampton this weekend for a league clash.