In this fixture last season Portsmouth hammered Warlingham by over sixty points so the turn-round was sweet revenge for Nick Warren’s re-vitalised side. Portsmouth had not lost at home since 2016 so the victory was ever more satisfying. The Indian summer weather departed and driving rain greeted the players at kick off time. Warlingham got into their stride right from the start and a rolling maul near the home side posts gave new signing prop Mike Freeman an opportunity to bustle over for the first try converted by fly half Joe McEvoy. Within the space of ten minutes the move was repeated and Freeman
got his second try, converted by the metronomic McEvoy. Warlingham forwards were dominating the fearsome Portsmouth pack but the home side’s maul gave them an unconverted try in the corner.
Piercing drives by captain Paddy Green and George Bench gained yardage and locks Jamie Curtis and Ben Warman were in the van for a number of attacks. A kick ahead gave birthday-boy winger George Davis a quick pick up and touch down in the corner. Dependable McEvoy added the extras. The first half ended with a McEvoy penalty
to put Warlingham well and truly in the driving seat.
After the break Portsmouth did what they do best – forward drives, rolling mauls and two tries resulted. Substitute scrum half John Hosken calmed the situation and was instrumental in giving last season’s captain Alex Skinner the chance to drive magnificently through the tiring home forwards for Warlingham’s fourth bonus-point try followed by the expected additional points from McEvoy. A temporary lack of concentration gave Portsmouth the opportunity to charge down a kick out of defence and the chase to the ball gave them their fourth bonus point try. A missed conversion denied them a losing
bonus point which may be important later in the season.
Director of Rugby, Warren, said “We planned to take them on up front to challenge their strength and we did that well. They are a very good side and to beat them on their own turf really is an achievement for us and our development. But I’m sure we have more to offer as the season progresses.”
Next Saturday Warlingham have no game but on 20th October they host second in the league United Services Portsmouth which will be another stern test for Warren’s warriors.
Updated 09:25 - 8 Oct 2018 by Gina Mattison