Portsmouth eye revenge against Winchester

Portsmouth have been on the up
Portsmouth have been on the up
England's Vickil Cornborough is tackled by Scotland's Karen Dunbar during the Women's Six Nations match at Broadwood Stadium, Cumbernauld. PPP-171108-170224001

Cornborough helps England notch first victory

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Portsmouth are keen to get revenge as they tackle fellow high-fliers Winchester in London two south west encounter.

Ben Dudley’s side were well beaten at Rugby Camp early on this season but have shown a big improvement since then.

They have climbed up to fourth in the league and are now just one place behind their hosts.

‘We felt we didn’t give a very good account of ourselves in the first meeting,’ said coach Dudley.

‘It was disappointing because our performance nowhere near reflected our potential.

‘At the time it was early days and the players were still getting used to the new structures.

‘As we bedded in our new ideas and started to implement them the team improved and progressed.

‘This will be an excellent test to see how far we have come.

‘It is an important game for both teams because the league table is so tight.

‘If you win you can push up towards the top but a defeat could see you lose a lot of ground.’

Dudley has the luxury of nearly a full-strength squad to choose from.

In London three south west, United Services Portsmouth visit Old Mid-Whitgiftian looking to secure a league double over their hosts.

Services beat the London outfit 18-11 in their second game of the season and it is an important contest for both clubs who are just above the relegation zone.

A win would see Services leapfrog above the home side, who are one point and one place above them.

In Hampshire one, strugglers Locks Heath Pumas face a tough trip to fourth-placed Fordingbridge.

Petersfield can give their survival chances a boost by winning at rivals Ellingham & Ringwood, who are also slugging out in the lower reaches of the table.

Fareham Heathens are without a league game.

But they intend to take on Romsey in a friendly at Cams Alders.

If the pitches are too wet they will switch the game to Romsey.

‘After this weekend we head into six straight weeks of league games so it is an important time coming up,’ said Heathens coach Bernie Rhodes.