Barnes back to provide cutting edge

Portsmouth's Curtis Barnes Picture: Mick Young

Portsmouth's Curtis Barnes Picture: Mick Young

Dan Sargent scores for Hampshire against Warwickshire. Picture: Keith Woodland (17064-492)

Hampshire heroes seal return to Twickers

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Portsmouth coach Sid Little admits his side need a win as London Cornish visit Rugby Camp in London two south west (2.30pm).

The city club are propping up the league table after losing their opening four games.

Their main problem has been a lack of a cutting edge – which has been reflected by the fact that Portsmouth are the league’s lowest scorers, with just 42 points from four games.

Little, however, is hoping that problem can be partly solved by the return of attacking full-back Curtis Barnes from his rugby league duties.

‘We have been targeting this game for a while to pick up a win,’ said Little.

United Services aim to meet unbeaten Solent University head on in their Hampshire League division one clash at Burnaby Road.

The students have racked up 183 points from their opening four games to head the table but Services have also started well.

They have suffered just one defeat and that by the narrowest of margins – a single-point loss at Bognor.

Director of rugby Simon Burns accepts his team are under no illusions to the difficult task facing them but their confidence-boosting win at Alton strengthened their case.

‘We were the first team to win at Alton in 18 months,’ said Burns.

‘Everything just seemed to click into place and we produced our open, supporting rugby to good effect.

‘Hopefully, that has put us in the right frame of mind to take on the students.

‘They like to run the ball from everywhere so it should be an exciting affair.

‘It will be a good test for us to show us where we are.’

Darius Baltrakenius comes in at number four in place of Simon Pinhorne, who is working in London, and Chris Marriott returns on the wing.

Bob Hoskins is set to reappear at full-back following illness.

In Hampshire two, Locks Heath Pumas visit Petersfield for a top-of-the-table clash.

Southsea Nomads head north to Aldershot & Fleet.

Meanwhile, Fareham Heathens will look to pile more misery on basement hosts Stoneham.

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