Portsmouth 3rds vs. Petersfield 2nds
Portsmouth rocked up to Petersfield to find a beautiful sunny day but a very strong wind which distorted any free flowing play. Portsmouth managed to turn up with a talented squad which were overshadowed by injuries and illness. However a warm welcome back to Thomas and Paul James of whom both have not played in far too long. The team were missing the important links of Damian, Andy Kirbs and Young Winger Martin for what promised to be a testing match against a very young Petersfield team.
The game started with the forwards absolutely dominating the opposition and this was proven when stand in No 8 Ollie Coomes launched a bullet pass for winger John Kirby to pick up and finish off from 5 metres out. The kick was missed but Petersfield hit back with a break away try from a speedy winger with their first attack of the match which they converted. The next 15 minutes was held by Portsmouth and any attack from Petersfield was either beaten by the Wind or beaten down by the likes of Olly Gibbs or Thomas the Hungarian. The pressure was too much for Petersfield when Murray showed a tasty give and go from 20 metres out and strolled over the line nearly uncontested to place the ball straight under the posts. The kick was converted and this was the last time Ports would make a kick all game.
Petersfield hit back again from a line out which were Portsmouths weak spot throughout the match with them flinging a quick long ball out to the Outside centre who danced through a Pompey dog leg to score with the kick going over the posts. However this spurred on the boys from Pompey with Sam Glucks bruising runs, knocked multiple opposition players over and he crossed the whitewash from a run from 10 metres out. The battle cries rang out from Thomas to get another score before half time, and this was executed by Murray who picked up the ball up and found a massive gap from half way to sneak around the scrum and tip toed down the line to really punish Petersfield. Portsmouth went into half leading the game 22-12
The half started with Portsmouth kicking into the wind and a fluffed kick lead to a high ball clash with Justin clouting the ground from the start which meant Portsmouth went down to 14 players for a good 15 minutes. Within that 15 minutes Ports decided to keep the scrum strong and play with 1 winger and this was used to the Home teams advantage with multiple kicks into the corner. This lead to a balls up from the away team when the ball popped out on the goal line and was touched down by the opposition. The kick was converted and the struggle continued but was braved by the likes of Roma and Franko with some solid play. Ports then stepped up and started using the whole pitch with attacks going from right to left and being stopped on the game line. Then Ports really smashed it home with Roma finishing off a 50 yard team play and slam dunking the ball over the line to give Ports the 27 points. Within the final 5 mins, Ryan and Justin hobbled off to be replaced by Clunie and Martin who had respectively finished a Vets Match. Ports missed a penalty within the final few minutes due to the strong wind but wound up winning the match 27-19.
The overall feeling from the team was positive to have beaten the young Petersfield team but also proud of the forwards such a Bill Hutch, Thomas and Chris Wryfod who really dominated the break down and any loose ball. The team played fantastic at Petersfield and passed a total of 8 players to the vets and down to the 2nds for their fantastic Win at Bournemouth.
Man of Match: Murray HENDRIKSON
Key players : Ryan (15) Franko (12) and Gluck (6)