US Portsmouth Bid Farewell to Capt Jack

Current club President Jeff Blackett led the team in a minute’s silence as tribute to Capt Jack Asbury, US Portsmouth Chairman from 1968-1973, in their first home game since he sadly passed away.

Capt Jack was a great stalwart of both Navy and US Portsmouth rugby and will be missed by all those who had the good fortune to get to know this true Navy rugby man. Amongst the spectators was Glynn Thomas, a former Navy Rugby captain and the Selector of the famous Navy sides of ‘73 and ’74 that won back-to-back Inter Service titles. Glynn fondly remembers not only playing alongside Capt Jack but also how his gentle hand on the tiller, often in the background, eased some of Glynn’s appointments to ensure that his rugby could progress.

From the team’s point of view they gave Capt Jack the best sending off possible. Right from the outset Will Blackett’s side played with an expansive intent. Despite their pack conceding quite a bit in terms of size, their mobility and work at the breakdown provided ample possession for the backs to use. The first half was close with the Isle of White scoring two tries and a penalty in response to US Portsmouth’s early unconverted try. US Portsmouth though finished the half with their second try to cut the deficit, and turn around only 13-12 down.

However despite the Isle of White scoring first, the second half it was dominated by US Portsmouth. The home team lifted the tempo of the game and went on to run in four tries to finish the game deserved 40-20 winners.  Having won their first game by a single point and lost their second by the same score it was pleasing for Director of Rugby Si Burns to oversee a more comfortable score line and of course the try bonus point. Capt Jack would have been proud.