It was a disappointing day for the University of Portsmouth in the main rugby fixture of the day, as the Men’s 1st team were soundly beaten 25-10 by Southampton.
In front of the largest crowd of the day, the two sides played out a fiercely contested opening twenty minutes.
The best chance of the early exchanges fell to Southampton, but with a man over on the wing five metres out from the try line, a misplaced pass allowed Portsmouth to clear their lines.
Unfortunately for the visitors in the 25th minute there was no such mistake from Southampton as they went over for the first score of the day.
After winning a penalty in the maul, Southampton decided to put the pressure on Portsmouth, going for the corner and opting for the same tactic deep inside their opponents’ 22.
It paid dividends as the Southampton pack forced their way across the whitewash and put their side 5-0 to the good.
More scores could have followed for the hosts, but tenacious goal line defence from Portsmouth meant the ball was held up not once but twice when Southampton had thought they scored.
Shortly before the break Portsmouth then closed the gap on their opposition through Jonty Newton’s boot.
The substitute slotted his penalty calmly through the uprights after the referee had pulled the game back for an offside penalty advantage following a missed drop goal attempt from Portsmouth fly half, Dylan Casella.
The five point gap was restored through a Southampton penalty shortly after the break however, before a quickfire double of tries took the game away from Portsmouth.
In the 47th minute, the Southampton fly half broke through the Portsmouth line and went over himself before adding the extras to make it 15-3 in favour of the hosts.
Then, just three minutes later, a similar break from the hosts’ inside flanker saw another try scored on the opposite side of the pitch, and again the score was converted.
With the score 22-3 there followed a lull in proceedings which were quickly brought to life with a series of off the ball scuffles, the punishment for which, the referee decided, was a stern talking to for both sets of players.
Southampton extended their lead further through the boot of their number 10, as he kicked another penalty.
Portsmouth trialed 25-3, but with two minutes left on the clock they grabbed a try of their own through inside centre, Rhys Griffin, as he ran a nice angle on the end of quick ball to cross the whitewash for the only Portsmouth try of the match.
It was scant consolation for Pompey however, as they went on to lose the match 25-10.