The University of Portsmouth Men’s Rugby 1st team continued their strong start to the season with a dominant 44-19 win over Queen Mary’s 1st team at Langstone.
It was a slow start to the game from the home side however, as they fell to a 6-0 deficit after 10 minutes following two successful penalties from the visiting fly half.
Portsmouth began to peg Queen Mary back through the boot of Dylan Casella, who brought the score back to 6-3 with a penalty of his own in the 14th minute.
The first try of followed seven minutes and went in favour of the hosts.
A bold decision to turn down an easy three points and instead go for the corner was rewarded with seven points after lock, Bruce Neil, went over from two metres.
Casella duly added the extras and Portsmouth took the lead for the first time, 10-6.
The next ten minutes was a battle of attrition after both sides put in huge hits defensively to keep the score at 10-6.
On the 31st minute Queen Mary’s found a way through however.
The inside centre broke through three Portsmouth tackles after taking a beautiful line on the edge of the 22, and touched down in the corner.
The conversion was missed, however Queens Mary extended their lead to four shortly afterwards, when the home side gave another costly penalty away.
It looked like that would be the last action of the half, but in the 40th minute strong ball retention at scrum time allowed quick ball for the Portsmouth backs, and a gorgeous offload from Casella gave wing, James Davies the chance to put on the afterburners.
Davies didn’t need a second invitation as he flew past two Queen Mary’s defenders to touch down under the posts.
Casella added the conversion and Portsmouth went into the break with a 17-14 lead.
The first half may have been a close affair, but the second was anything but.
Four minutes after the restart, a quick penalty taken by scrum half Marcus Campopiana caught the visitors off guard.
Two phases later quick offloads from the forwards gave Campopiano the ball back, and he glided past the full back to score and leave Casella the simplest of conversions.
Queen Mary’s responded well, but fantastic goal-line defence from the hosts limited them to just a penalty.
That would be the last time the visitors troubled the scoreboard.
Two minutes later Campopiano went over for his second and Portsmouth’s fourth try, as he made a dart from behind a ruck on the edge of the 22 and crossed the whitewash untouched.
Portsmouth continued to push on, and in the 67th minute were rewarded with try number five.
Following a strong run Matt Rhodes produced a lovely offload to replacement scrum half, Max Graham, who touched down in the corner.
Casella couldn’t add the extras and Portsmouth led 36-19.
The home side weren’t finished yet though as they scored another try immediately from the restart.
A loose ball was pounced upon by the Portsmouth back line and two grubbers forward saw Davies tap the ball down for a well deserved second try.
Casella added a late penalty to take the final score to 44-19.
A result that didn’t flatter the home team at all following a dominant second half performance.