WEYMOUTH & Portland continued their perfect start to the Tribute Dorset & Wilts One South season with a hard-fought 23-12 win at Puddletown.

Rich Bament’s men did all the damage in the first half as the second featured attritional phases of play, the Seahorses digging deep to keep Puddletown at bay.

Visiting fly-half Ryan Lewendon landed an early penalty but Puddletown edged ahead with the game’s first try.

Hooker Joe Swain barged his way over for the score after Puddletown had set up a driving maul from a line-out, but back came Weymouth with Lewendon’s second penalty.

Luke Beynon extended the lead when his marvellous dummy fooled the Puddletown defence, storming clear to touch down one-handed beneath the posts, Lewendon converting for 13-5.

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Weymouth & Portland piled enough pressure on the Puddletown forwards to earn a penalty try soon afterwards as officials deemed the hosts culpable for collapsing a scrum five metres out.

Lewendon punished a high tackle by kicking a penalty for 23-5 before Puddletown’s imposing number eight, Pearce Mercer, crashed over from a solo run.

Puddletown full-back Marcus House then slotted the conversion for a 23-12 deficit at the break.

What followed was a stunning defensive effort from the Seahorses as the hosts had them pinned in their own 22 for large periods.

Weymouth & Portland had to drive Puddletown back on a number of occasions and on the rare moments of relaxation in the home half, Lewendon narrowly missed two penalties.

Injuries led to uncontested scrums and Beynon was sin-binned for a high tackle as the pressure continued to grow.

An energy-sapping half was finally ended well into the 50-minute mark as the Seahorses scrambled the ball into touch.

Speaking to Echosport, Bament was encouraged to see his team win a “physical” battle in comparison to their two more comfortable wins.

He said: “They’re a very physical team and the victory was built on a rearguard action for the whole of the second half.

“We spent a good 90 per cent of our time camped in our own 22 and they didn’t score.

“That’s how it was built, a good defensive display against a good physical team.

“We had chances for attacking but it was one of those where it was a forward-orientated day.”

Weymouth & Portland have no game on Saturday due to receiving a bye in the cup.

Seahorses: Comben, Sankey, Davies, Oaksford, Eckersley, D Hayne, Norton, A Bowditch, Barter, Lewendon, Savage, Beynon, Purcell, Farley, Cummings. Reps: D Bowditch, Gibson.