U15s edged out 33-36 in the New Forest
US Portsmouth 33 Ellingham & Ringwood 36
A warm grey January day gave perfect playing conditions for the U15s league match away against Ellingham & Ringwood.
US Portsmouth started brightly, with good support and solid forward and back play to score 2 tries in the first 10 minutes to lead 12-0. Ellingham & Ringwood were sparked into life by their outside centre's excellent speed and run through to score. All of a sudden Ellingham & Ringwood were invigorated whilst US looked heavy legged and out of sorts. Defensive line speed was lacking and US were overlapped too often. Ellingham & Ringwood scored twice more with their open running backs and converted all to go into half time 21-12 up.
US Portsmouth came out for the second half determined to shake off any excess mince pies and raise their game. Sure enough they were rewarded with a free running try of their own, converted to close the gap to 21-19. Both sides had now fully come to life and were starting to play some good rugby. US defensive play was improved with several players putting in big tackles to try to turn the game around. Ellingham & Ringwood defended solidly throughout. Several times US drove down the pitch only to be held up on the try line 2 or 3 times in short succession.
The teams exchanged tries and with 10 minutes to go US looked to finally have gained the upper hand after several minutes of determined pressure and plenty of phases of forward play culminated in a try under the posts with conversion to lead 33-21. Ellingham & Ringwood clearly had a different ending in mind as they rapidly bounced back with a well worked try to pull the game level at 33-33 with a couple of minutes left on the clock.
US conceded a penalty in from of their own posts and with almost the last kick of the game Ellingham & Ringwood slotted over the penalty for a well deserved win 36-33.
Many thanks to Ellingham & Ringwood for a warm welcome and for a game that was played in great spirit.
Next week we are playing Farnborough RFC in a friendly at Temeraire. If you would like to try playing rugby with United Services Portsmouth then please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Our club is friendly, inclusive and open to all.