Portsmouth keen to tame Tigers

Justin Powell Picture: Mick Young
Justin Powell Picture: Mick Young
Scott Morris scored a key try for Havant

Creative play helps provide winning tonic for Havant

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Portsmouth will need to tame Tadley Tigers if they are to get their fight for London Two south-west survival up and running.

The Rugby Camp side beat their hosts 21-15 early in the season, but since then have won just one game in the league.

With just three points separating the two sides in the relegation battle, both will be desperate to pick up the vital points on offer.

A win for Portsmouth would give them valuable breathing space above the drop zone.

Head coach Ian Chandler was encouraged by his team’s display in the narrow defeat by league leaders Tottonians just before Christmas.

‘Our display against Tottonians was the best for some time,’ said Chandler.

‘We are starting to see some continuity with our front five and it is starting to pay dividends.

‘If we can continue to show decent form then we should stay out of trouble.

‘We were in the same situation last season so we know what is needed.’

In Hampshire One, it is bottom versus top as Romsey entertain unbeaten United Services Portsmouth.

Services are 10 points clear at the top but coach Graeme Butterworth isn’t expecting it to be straightforward at Romsey.

‘They have a small pitch and it is likely to be a heavy quagmire,’ said Butterworth.

‘It is going to be a tough game up front.

‘We have picked the biggest pack of forwards possible so we can go there and beat them at their own game.’

Services are boosted by the arrival of Havant prop-forward Justin Powell, who is expected to make his debut.

The 37-year old is an explosive ball carrier and will make a big impact at local level.

‘Justin will be a big fish in a small pond,’ said Butterworth.

‘When he gets up a head of steam he is difficult to stop.

‘I don’t think it is going to be a high-scoring game but it is one we want to win and get bonus points from.’

Scrum-half Ben Smith is ruled out by a hamstring tear, so evergreen Matt Davis is drafted back in.

In Hampshire two, basement side Southsea Nomads are looking for a first win at Alresford.