Portsmouth v Basingstoke, Saturday 9th September 2023, Pre-season friendly

Portsmouth v Basingstoke, Saturday 9th September 2023, Pre-season friendly

Match report by Jim Dixon

Portsmouth 17 – 22 Basingstoke

This was the last of 4 pre-season warm up games.  Basingstoke were in the same league as Portsmouth last season but have now been relegated to Counties 2 Hampshire.

There were a few changes from last weeks loss to Brighton which was always the plan so that all squad players had a good run out prior to the season proper starting.

For the first 15-20 minutes neither side were able to establish any authority on the match.  Eventually it was Stoke who opened the scoring with a try out wide to take a 0  –  5 lead.  From a penalty Stoke were able to kick to touch and set up a catch and drive from the line out, scored their 2nd try to take a 0  –  12 lead.  Portsmouth managed to close the gap with a try by Bryn Rainford after some good pressure, the score now 5  –  12. The conversion hit the upright and bounced back into the field of play.  Stoke soon extended their lead with a try from a driving maul taking the score to 5  – 17 as the half time whistle went.

The second half saw Stoke straight back on the attack with a 3rd try taking the score to 5  –  22.  It must be said tjhat better tackling could have prevented the score. A penalty in front of the posts gave Stoke  a chance to increase their lead but the kick went wide.  Portsmouth were now begining to put some moves together and that resulted in their 2nd try thanks to good work from Brad Jewer and finished off by Harry Drew, taking the score to 10  –  22.  A 3rd try this time from Adam Parks-Dare who scored out wide following a period of pressure from Portsmouth.  The score was now 17  –  22. Just 1 more score was needed to change the result but despite their best endeavours time got the better of them as the final whistle went giving a victory to the visitors.

It was a rather dis-jointed first half in which there seemed a lack of cohesion from Portsmouth, fortunately that got a bit better in the second half but there were too many missed or half hearted tackles on show.   Having said that it was a game played under extreme heat which made handling rather difficult with very sweaty hands.   The Ref made sure that there were plenty of water breaks during the game.

Next week sees the start of the League campaign with the 1’s away to Petersfield in what promises to be a pretty hard fought game.