Portsmouth aim to stop the rot

Ian Chandler
Ian Chandler

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Portsmouth travel to Effingham & Leatherhead tomorrow looking to end their losing streak in London two south west.

The men from Rugby Camp are second from bottom, one point above basement-side Farnham, after five successive league defeats.

Ian Chandler’s young side have been competitive in most games.

But if they are to avoid a relegation battle they must improve their defensive record, which is the worst in the league.

United Services hope to extend their unbeaten record in Hampshire one with a win at Farnborough.

Director of rugby Matt Davis is delighted with the progress at Burnaby Road since he took over during the summer.

Services have attracted a number of new players and discovered a winning formula.

‘We will go to Farnborough determined to play our style of rugby which has worked so far for us,’ said Davis.

‘With a number of their players in the Army you are never quite sure what you will come up against.

‘It is always a very physical game up front and we will have to deal with that.

‘There is a buzz in the club at the moment and we had 38 players training in midweek.

‘We have made the perfect start but know that can all change very quickly if we don’t keep working hard.’

Services will be forced to make one change because winger Luke Peters is unavailable.

Unbeaten Hampshire two pace-setters Locks Heath Pumas will start as firm favourites at home against lowly Aldershot & Fleet.

Pumas came through a physical test to edge a tight affair 27-24 against Southampton last weekend.

Coach Jim Pearce is boosted by the return of two key forwards in Harry Cripps and John Barfoot.

‘We have found opponents are trying to slow our ball down and we need to stay one step ahead,’ said Pearce.

‘At Southampton we showed our mettle and once we started winning quick ball we were able to get onto the front foot.’

Southsea Nomads prepare to host Southampton at Furze Lane.