SWINDON Storm’s winless start the season continued this weekend after they were beaten 23-2 by Portsmouth Dreadnoughts.

Rich van Sloten’s troops were hoping that a two-week lay off would have improved their situation, but they were simply not good enough at Supermarine RFC.

Portsmouth charged into a 13-0 lead at the break and then consolidated their advantage in the second half to secure a 21-point margin of victory.

While the size of their deficit was a fairly extensive one, Storm offensive coach Sean Harper believes the result flattered Portsmouth.

However, Harper rued the individual mistakes made by his team and says that is what ultimately cost them.

“We are disappointed. Although we were considered underdogs, we played really well on defence and moved the ball on offence, buy silly mistakes cost us, ending in the 23-2 defeat,” said Harper.

“The score didn’t reflect the performance. We may not have deserved to win, but the scoreline did not reflect the way the game was played out and how hard we battled. It was, however, the first points Portsmouth have conceded this year.

“Mistakes at critical moments cost us and American Football is a game of small margins.

“We worked on trying to stop their offence and force them into mistakes, which we achieved, but didn’t make the most of it.”

As the winless run continues, Harper says a lack of confidence is the only thing preventing Storm from getting that first win of the year.

“Confidence is the missing ingredient. We need to have some self-belief and cut out mistakes and penalties, they kill us and give our opponents a lot of momentum,” he added.

Van Sloten’s Storm now have another weekend break before returning to league action.

Their next opponents are Hertfordshire Cheetahs, who won 30-8 in the previous meeting.