Having played only one match in the last 6 weeks, Portsmouth Colts could have been excused for being a little rusty.
However, they rapidly switched into gear and , despite one or two moments of indecision, proved to be a more confident side than the one that lost this corresponding fixture at home earlier in the season.
All this while including several new and recently reappearing faces.
The classic keys to success were all present: hard, first up tackling; strong running with good lines; supporting the ball carrier in numbers.
The two sides were evenly balanced for the first 20 minutes until Chichester found themselves camped on the Portsmouth line. Portsmouth won turnover ball but the clearance kick failed to find touch and Chichester ran in a simple try on the Portsmouth left.
Chichester 5-Portsmouth 0
A penalty to Portsmouth and they took the lineout option in the Chichester corner. A lost lineout was strongly defended by Portsmouth and Jack Churchill
fielded the Chichester clearance kick on halfway where he fed Curtis Barnes
. On one of his many mazy runs which left defenders clutching at air, Curtis stepped out of or away from 5 tackles. A sixth was one too far but Callum Fraser (who covered more ground than most during the game) was on his shoulder to take the offload and run in for the try.
Half time Chichester 5-Portsmouth 5
Five minutes into the second half and George Rentoul
was rewarded for his efforts both in attack and defence with a well taken try on the left wing. Once again the Portsmouth handling, with the exception of one or two blemishes during the afternoon, provided the winger with the opportunity to show his speed off the mark.
Chichester 5-Portsmouth 10
Back to midfield and some fine work by the centres saw the ball moved out to Jordan Carter
on the wing (yes, it is April 1st-but no, this is no joke). Jordan upped the pace and fed inside to that man Curtis Barnes
who ran in for his second which Jack Churchill
Chichester 5-Portsmouth 17
A replay of his first try gave George Rentoul
his second and Jack Churchill
his second conversion.
Chichester 5 Portsmouth 24
Chichester were a better side than the score line suggested at this point and so it proved when, in the dying minutes, they scored in the left hand corner.
A low penalty count with neither side opting to go for goal , this was the ideal work out before three weeks of back to back league fixtures for Portsmouth Colts.
As agreed by both clubs, the two sides were principally under 17s; this bodes well for next season too.
Final score Chichester 10 –Portsmouth 24