Portsmouth defence set for tough examination

Ian Chandler. Picture: Mick Young
Ian Chandler. Picture: Mick Young
Dylan Raubenheimer. Picture: Ian Hargreaves

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Portsmouth face a tough end to the year with a visit from London two south west leaders Tottonians to Rugby Camp tomorrow (3pm).

Tottonians have lost just once in the league all season and boast the best attacking record – having already notched 353 points.

The hosts have conceded exactly the same number of points, which is the worst defensive record in the league.

It all adds up to a tall order for Portsmouth to upset the odds tomorrow.

And another defeat could leave Ian Chandler’s men in the bottom two.

‘We know we have to do better defensively,’ said the head coach.

‘At the moment we are making one step forward and two steps back.’

Hampshire League division one leaders United Services are aiming to end the first half of the season with victory over the Isle of Wight at Burnaby Road.

Services have been impressive in the first half of the campaign – opening up a nine-point lead at the top of the table.

Meanwhile, Fareham Heathens coach Bernie Rhodes is disappointed by Team Solent’s inability to raise a team for their division one clash at Cams Alders.

‘We have won our last three games and wanted to keep the momentum going before Christmas,’ said Rhodes.

‘Team Solent seem to be a club in turmoil and it is disappointing for us not to have a first team game.

‘I am delighted with the way we have coped with life in Hampshire one and more than happy to be going into the break in fourth place.

‘We have had excellent wins over Farnborough, Petersfield and Alton and are looking forward to the second half of the season.’

Petersfield host second-placed Bognor under their new lights at Penns Place (3pm).

Support from Sport England and the Rugby Football Union (RFU) helped the club install their new facilities, which coach Andy Patience insists are already making a difference.

‘We have already seen increased numbers at training and they have made it much more pleasurable,’ he said.

‘Bognor will be a tough test for us because we have a number of players unavailable.

‘We have been looking good at home, though, and will go out and give them a game.’