Portsmouth II 10-26 Romsey

Romsey travelled to a gloomy, drizzly and windy Portsmouth hoping to add to last week’s winning ways. 

After the first few minutes of even play Romsey started to apply pressure and after a couple of rucks in the opposition 22 yard area Mike Streicher bundled over for Romsey‘s first score. 

A difficult conversion a couple of metres from the touchline was magnificently struck by fly half Aiden Clelland to put Romsey seven points ahead.

From the kickoff Romsey won the ball and a magnificent clearing kick by Jim Lamont took Romsey almost up to the opponents 22 yard line. From the lineout Romsey pressure soon yielded a kickable penalty. However Romsey felt confident they could score another try and the pack drove over the line with the ball carrier just held up preventing the score.

Romsey were now dominant and from a scrum a lovely chip kick saw Dan Murrant race through the defence to score under the posts with the conversion making the score 14 nil to Romsey. Portsmouth were being frustrated by Romsey‘s efforts and were rather too aggressive in defence with the result that their number six was red carded for a head on head tackle.

Another Romsey score soon followed when flyhalf Cleland set off on a wonderful run from the Romsey 10 yard line, evading the Portsmouth defence to score a try under the posts which he duly converted giving Romsey a 21 point lead. Just before the halftime whistle a rare period of Portsmouth pressure in Romsey‘s 22 yard area led to the visitors conceding a couple of penalties which the home side opted not to kick. Portsmouth drove forward and were held up over the line on one occasion but during this brief period the Romsey defence held firm. Moments later however Romsey were stunned when a kick ahead from half way was collected by the Portsmouth winger who out-sprinted the Romsey defence for their first try which was not converted, making the score 21 : 5 at the break.

After an uncomfortable few minutes following the restart Romsey soon re-established control and after a Portsmouth infringement, kicked for a line out in the corner. Romsey pressed hard with repeated attacks but were finally held up over the line. At this point Romsey conceded a couple of penalties which momentarily relieved the pressure the home side. However Romsey soon came back on the attack and Caine Latham broke from the back of a rolling mall to force his way over near the corner. The difficult conversion in the strong wind almost succeeded but in any case Romsey had secured their bonus point for scoring four tries. Shortly before the end Portsmouth scored a consolation try from a speculative kick ahead making the final score 26 points to 10 which did not reflect Romsey’s dominance. 

Just as last week Romsey had much the best of the play and whilst this was a good win they need to find a way to convert pressure into even more points. This Saturday sees a break in the league program with Romsey’s second string taking centre stage at Ganger Farm versus Chineham.