Portsmouth have point to prove

Matt Morgan Picture: Mick Young

Matt Morgan Picture: Mick Young

Darren Bamford's hat-trick wasn't enough for Havant against Sidcup. Picture: Kieth Woodland

Havant coach positive despite play-off misery

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Portsmouth are hoping it will be third-time lucky against London Cornish in their London two south west clash at Rugby Camp.

The Rugby Camp club have already lost twice in the league and cup in London and are looking to use home advantage to turn that statistic around.

But coach Ian Chandler knows it will be tough against their third-placed visitors.

‘We know exactly what London Cornish are about and they are very good at what they do,’ said Chandler.

‘They are a very powerful forward-orientated side who don’t muck about.

‘In a bizarre way we are looking forward to the test and our forwards may feel they have a point to prove.

‘We scored more points against them than any other side at their place in the league game earlier in the season.

‘In the cup game we took a weakened side and got what we deserved.

‘This is a chance for us to test our new-found confidence and see where we are.

‘If we can match them up front then it will give us a chance.’

The home side are boosted by the return of influential number eight Matt Morgan, who will team up with brother Chris at scrum-half.

Medical studies have limited the forward’s involvement but Chandler is delighted to have him back.

‘Matt is a good all-round rugby player and very good at steadying the ship when things aren’t going your way,’ added Chandler.

‘It looks like he is going to be available on a more regular basis in the second half of the season.’

Dan Neville also returns at outside-half to add further experience.

Hampshire one leaders United Services face one of their sternest tests of the season against Fordingbridge at Burnaby Road.

US director of rugby Matt Davis reckons his unbeaten side will need to be on their mettle.

‘Fordingbridge, on their day, are one of the strongest teams in our league,’ said Davis.

‘It wasn’t our greatest performance at Romsey after the Christmas break and we must look to raise our game.’

Services expect to field an unchanged line-up.

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