Jim Dixon writes…
A rather scenic trip into West Sussex saw Portsmouth play their first proper match for goodness knows how long.
Even the weather was kind with a sunny day and a gentle breeze.
This must be one of the most attractive grounds we have played on with Southdown Gliding Club next door and light aircraft towing gliders up pretty much all afternoon. I suspect it was a bit of a distraction to some of our players. Pulborough play in London 3 South West so are the same level as Portsmouth. They had a good run out last weekend with a convincing 57 – 21 win over Haslemere
Portsmouth had a few new faces on show together with some who were making a very welcome comeback. Darren Crabb, Daz Leggott and Rob Gicquel among them. Without a team sheet and the fact that this was a training run so the team was changing every twenty minutes or, so I’m afraid I don’t have scorers’ names, just the tries scored.
Pulborough got proceedings underway, playing into the wind, and Portsmouth were soon on the attack with a penalty awarded which was converted by fly half Gareth Davies giving Portsmouth a 0 – 3 lead after about 5 minutes of play.
Seven minutes later Portsmouth scored their second try, converted by Davies, increasing their lead to 0 -10.
With the Portsmouth pack pretty dominant the 3rd try soon followed but this time the conversion just missed. The score was now 0 – 15.
Pulborough then managed to get on the score board with a try through a driving maul but the conversion missed. the score was now 5 – 15.
Portsmouth soon hit back, however, and a converted try followed by a penalty on the stroke of half time saw their lead increase to 5 – 25.
The second half started playing into the wind and Portsmouth made good ground with plenty of handling moves and some good touch kicking. With the forwards in complete control Portsmouth soon added their 5th try and with the conversion the score was now 5 – 39 after about 56 minutes. The visitors then added a 6th. try, also converted, taking their lead to 5 – 46. Two more tries followed with 1 being converted taking the score to 5 – 58 Pulborough had the final score with a try following some good passing, but the conversion missed, and the final whistle went with a good victory to Portsmouth 10 – 58.
Everyone in the squad played their part well although sterner tests will follow undoubtedly. Next week sees Portsmouth at home to Gosport and Fareham in their final warm up game before the League gets underway the following week. Next week also sees the Presidents Lunch take place before the match with former player and Club member, Chef Jimmy Martin the Club’s new Caterer. If you haven’t already booked and want to come along then please contact Chalkie White quickly as places are filling up fast.
The 2nds also posted a good win -away to a combined 1 & 2’s Alresford XV 12 – 17
The Valkyries had a good win against Southampton Ladies at home 45-7