Match Report by Jim Dixon
Portsmouth played their first pre-season game away to Tottonians on Thursday night 25th August . Portsmouth had a squad of 24 players present and all got plenty of game time. The evening didn’t get off to a great start with the mini bus breaking down at Fareham causing a delay in the start time of 7.00p.m. They eventually arrived having been collected by Portsmouth players who had travelled by car so K.O started about 7.45p.m. after a very quick team warm up session.
For the first 10 – 15 minutes it looked as though we were going to be in for a difficult evening as Totts piled on the pressure, but gradually as the team began to settle down they got into their stride. Suddenly they worked their way upfield and scored a good try. The Ref had decided that there would be no conversions due to the late start so the lead was 0 – 5. We were also holding our own at scrum time and again we found a way to the try line with our second score giving us a pleasing 0 – 10 lead. Totts closed the gap with a well taken try making it 5 – 10. but we then scored again extending our lead to 5 – 15. By now it was becoming rather murky as there were no lights on their 1’s pitch and it was also getting rather fiesty but we gave as good as we got! Half time came and we thought the game would be transfered to the floodlit training pitch but the Ref started the second half as we were. The time was now 8.35. p.m., and it was getting increasingly difficult to see properly. Eventually the whistle went and the game was transfered to the floodlit training pitch. The only problem there was that there was no touch flags and no goal posts so it was difficult to see where you were on the pitch. There was also no dead ball line marked out. Excellent defensive tackling kept the home side at bay but eventually Totts managed to score closing the gap to 10 -15. Their backs when they clicked, were causing us problems but again good defensive work kept them out. We then scored another try giving us a very satisfying 10 – 20 lead against a team 2 leagues above us. Due to a number of new faces I am unable to name all the scorers or the outstanding players. Indeed it would be unfair to mention some as the whole squad put in an admirable display. There was good work from the back row throughout the match and some very good touch line kicking often taking play deep into the opposition territory The scrum put in a very good shift and the thing that pleased the Coaches most was the way the team showed no tailing off when changes were made as they continued in the same aggresive manner.
Next Friday the squad is playing Bognor at Havant in a postponed pre-season friendly with a 7.15 pm K.O which will be under lights. Lets hope that the same mood continues..