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1st XV - Match centre

Petersfield
United Services, Portsmouth
E Matthews, N Wilde, M Momber, T Sydenham
Tries
, , , , , ,
N Blumlein (3)
Conversions
, , , , ,
Penalties
Sat 15 Sep 15:00 - London & SE Division - London 3 South West Full time

USP KO PRFC

By

It’s Pompey (2) - Petersfield (0) after the first two games of the new season after the matelots of United Services Portsmouth beat the plucky reds at home.

Having been promoted from Hampshire 1 at the end of last season with an almost perfect record, US Portsmouth are one of many teams to be reckoned with in the London 3 South West league. However, having lost a high scoring game in their first outing at home to Winchester, the side would have travelled to Petersfield with thoughts of getting their league train back on the rails.

It looked at first as though this task would be an easy one as, within four minutes of their kick-off, the visitors had muscled their way down the park to score in Aubrey’s Hollow – the conversion, a tricky one from the touchline, added the extras.

From the restart, the play became significantly less one-sided and Field made forays into the US half. With ten minutes on the clock, they finally got their reward for some rumbling forwards play that took the backs to within striking distance. Accurate, bullet-quick passing from the three-quarters put Eddie Matthews away for a scintillating sprint along the left-wing. The pint-sized pocket rocket stood on the gas and zipped past the defence to score Field’s first try. With the wind against him, stand-off Nick Blumlein coolly slotted his kick from the touchline.

2018-09-15 1st XV v US Portsmouth
20 photos

With the scores level the tussle for supremacy continued with no clear idea of which team was going to make the next breakthrough. Field’s pack – for once bested in the scrum – were putting in a mighty shift in the loose and it was just reward for their efforts that they were the ones to snatch the lead for the home side.

A penalty lineout took the red team into the US 22 and, ball secured from the throw-in, the forwards rumbled through the phases, reaching ever closer to their goal until young Hooker, Nic Wilde, broke the final line of defence to crash over under the posts. In both league games so far this season, Wilde has caught the eye and proven himself to be more than worthy of his 1st XV place, with a level of ability and tenacity that belies his youthful appearance. The conversion in front of the posts was a mere formality for the cultured boot of Blumlein.

There was no time to rest on their laurels as US upped the pressure in search of their next score. With his line threatened, Field outside centre Ben ‘The Wall’ Wakefield added to his season’s tally with another excellent smother tackle to deny a certain try. However, as the ball was held up over the line, US were given a 5m scrum which they used to good effect to score the first try of the second quarter.

The missed conversion kept Field in the lead but only just and when US were awarded another 5m scrum with ten minutes of the half to go, the outcome was unfortunately inevitable. This time the conversion was good, and US regained the lead, 14-19.

With time running out on the half, Field turned a precarious defensive situation into a sublime attack. The ball was passed to Wakefield in desperation as he was the only ‘out’. However, the centre - twinkling feet mirroring the twinkle in his Irish eyes - kept the ball alive. Wakefield evaded the onrushing US players and bought time for support to arrive in the form of Seb Kay. Kay took the ball down his right-wing into the US half of the pitch before feeding Matt Momber. The inside centre had a lot of ground still to cover and, juggling the ball, managed to fend off the attentions of a US defender to crash over for Field’s third try. This time Blumlein’s kick flew across the front of the posts. This was the final play of the half and the teams went into the break at 19-all.

From the restart, the US players age and experience showed as they went on to dominate the second half. This was helped in part by Field giving away penalties for technical infringements when developing promising attacks. As the clock ticked down and legs became tired, the play became more fragmented and US took further advantage scoring four more converted tries and a penalty to bring up their half-century.

However, whilst the second half score line might suggest otherwise, Field never gave up the fight and were once again rewarded for their efforts with the final try of the match, the team’s fourth. Once again it was forward play from a penalty line out, 5m from the US line. This time finished by flanker Toby Sydenham who bullocked his way past the thinning defence to secure a bonus-point for his side. The conversion was taken quickly by Blumlein, casually kicking a drop goal with 30-seconds on the clock. Field gathered the ball from the restart and, in overtime, drove into the US 22 in search of another score. Unfortunately for the home side, the US defence were sufficiently resolute to cause Field to infringe at a ruck and the penalty they gained allowed them to close the game out.

As usual Field Head Coach, James Alder, had a concise summary at the final whistle, “This was a game of two halves; the first a tough encounter with both teams pushing for points at every opportunity. In the second, US started better and were more ruthless in their finishing, while we worked hard to create chances but could just not finish them off as we did in the first half.

Huge credit to my players as they all put in a shift and were rewarded for it at the death with a deserved fourth, bonus-point winning, try. I thought our overall performance deserved more from the game, but this will be great experience for the five U19 players in the team. One of these was our man of the match, Nic Wilde, who provided great coverage around the pitch, was solid in the set piece and capped a great performance with a try between the sticks.

The future looks very positive with players coming through, however, we need them to get up to speed quickly and, as a team, put in place the improvements we need to ensure we collect our first win.”

The team bids farewell to the golden boots and hair of standoff Nick Blumlein who is off to see the world and looks forward to his return. Alder said, “It’s been great working with him and we wish him all the best. We hope enjoys the experience of a new culture.”

Field are on the road again next week, travelling to Andover. This will be another tricky draw for Alder’s fledglings as Andover were one of the teams relegated from London 2 SW last season. At this early stage of the season, however, Andover sit just beneath Field in eleventh place. The side share the same points tally as Field, courtesy of two try bonuses, but have conceded more points on the field. Like Field, Andover’s loses have come against teams challenging for the top of the table, in their case Winchester and Battersea Ironsides.

It has been a very high-scoring start to the London 3 SW league with over 1400-points being scored across the twelve games to date. This may be due to the relatively benign weather creating good conditions for open running rugby. However, it does hint at how important a solid defence will be in the matches ahead. (Another stat for the sports-nerd is that the total number of points scored by teams to-date is equalled by the number of points conceded…!)

Key moments

4:00
Try Try for United Services, Portsmouth
4:30
Conversion Conversion for United Services, Portsmouth
10:00
Try Eddie Matthews scores for Petersfield
11:00
Conversion Nick Blumlein kicks a conversion for Petersfield
16:30
Try Nic Wilde scores for Petersfield
17:00
Conversion Nick Blumlein kicks a conversion for Petersfield
21:00
Try Try for United Services, Portsmouth
29:00
Try Try for United Services, Portsmouth
30:00
Conversion Conversion for United Services, Portsmouth
39:40
Try Matt Momber scores for Petersfield
44:00
Try Try for United Services, Portsmouth
45:00
Conversion Conversion for United Services, Portsmouth
56:00
Try Try for United Services, Portsmouth
57:00
Conversion Conversion for United Services, Portsmouth
64:00
Try Try for United Services, Portsmouth
65:00
Conversion Conversion for United Services, Portsmouth
71:00
Penalty Penalty kicked for United Services, Portsmouth
75:00
Try Try for United Services, Portsmouth
76:30
Conversion Conversion for United Services, Portsmouth
79:00
Conversion Nick Blumlein kicks a conversion for Petersfield
79:00
Try Toby Sydenham scores for Petersfield

Videos and photos

2018-09-15 1st XV v US Portsmouth
20 photos

Highlights

View 0 new events
79:00 Try 26 - 50
Toby Sydenham scores for Petersfield
79:00 Conversion 21 - 50
Nick Blumlein kicks a conversion for Petersfield
76:30 Conversion 19 - 50
Conversion for United Services, Portsmouth
75:00 Try 19 - 48
Try for United Services, Portsmouth
71:00 Penalty 19 - 43
Penalty kicked for United Services, Portsmouth
65:00 Conversion 19 - 40
Conversion for United Services, Portsmouth
64:00 Try 19 - 38
Try for United Services, Portsmouth
57:00 Conversion 19 - 33
Conversion for United Services, Portsmouth
56:00 Try 19 - 31
Try for United Services, Portsmouth
45:00 Conversion 19 - 26
Conversion for United Services, Portsmouth
44:00 Try 19 - 24
Try for United Services, Portsmouth
End of period 1
40:00 Missed Conversion
Nick Blumlein misses a conversion for Petersfield
39:40 Try 19 - 19
Matt Momber scores for Petersfield
30:00 Conversion 14 - 19
Conversion for United Services, Portsmouth
29:00 Try 14 - 17
Try for United Services, Portsmouth
23:00 Missed Conversion
Conversion missed for United Services, Portsmouth
21:00 Try 14 - 12
Try for United Services, Portsmouth
17:00 Conversion 14 - 7
Nick Blumlein kicks a conversion for Petersfield
16:30 Try 12 - 7
Nic Wilde scores for Petersfield
11:00 Conversion 7 - 7
Nick Blumlein kicks a conversion for Petersfield
10:00 Try 5 - 7
Eddie Matthews scores for Petersfield
4:30 Conversion 0 - 7
Conversion for United Services, Portsmouth
4:00 Try 0 - 5
Try for United Services, Portsmouth
Start of the game
Replay game

As it happened

  • Petersfield
  • United Services, Portsmouth
  • 0
  • Try 4:00'
  • Conversion 4:30'
  • Eddie Matthews Try 10:00'
  • Nick Blumlein Conversion 11:00'
  • Nic Wilde Try 16:30'
  • Nick Blumlein Conversion 17:00'
  • Try 21:00'
  • Try 29:00'
  • Conversion 30:00'
  • Matt Momber Try 39:40'
  • Try 44:00'
  • Conversion 45:00'
  • Try 56:00'
  • Conversion 57:00'
  • Try 64:00'
  • Conversion 65:00'
  • Penalty 71:00'
  • Try 75:00'
  • Conversion 76:30'
  • Toby Sydenham Try 79:00'
  • Nick Blumlein Conversion 79:00'

Team selection

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League round up

Other London 3 South West results

Battersea Ironsides
29
26
27
35
Portsmouth
Winchester
48
22

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League table

# Team Pl Pts
6. Old Georgians 22 56
7. Trojans 22 56
8. Andover 22 52
9. Warlingham 22 50
10. Old Whitgiftian 22 41
11. Petersfield 22 26
12. Teddington 22 22

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