Havant Ladies are looking forward to a fresh challenge as they travel to Canterbury in National Championship south east division one on Saturday (12midday).
Their game is a curtain-raiser for their men’s team in front of what will be a huge Oktoberfest crowd.
Havant lead the table with three wins from three matches.
Canterbury are also so far undefeated and promise to be the toughest team faced yet.
But the ladies are confident that their new structures, versatility and resilience will see them through.
‘That resilience was demonstrated in abundance in the home match against London Irish last Sunday,’ said captain Lucy King.
‘We dominated the first half and went into the break 12-0 up.
‘But a riled-up London Irish came back with a couple of scores of their own and with eight minutes left led 19-18.
‘The players refused to give it up and in an incredible show of heart and strength kept their cool and forced play into the London Irish twenty-two.
‘For several phases the forwards ground it out, before finally in minute two minutes from the end, Tasha Elliott playing at flanker in her first game back from a long period of injury, seized the ball from the back of a ruck and dived over the line, securing both the score and the game.
‘Moments like these demonstrate the character that this team has, quality that is nevertheless as important if not more so than the basic skills.
‘As well as this resilience, the team has also shown huge development in other areas so far which has been driven largely by everyone buying into the new game plans and atmosphere developed by the coaches.
‘We are playing more professionally with greater tactical awareness.
‘The whole team is playing a part in our development, but particular mention should be made to Nette Petley whose behind-the-scenes work keeps us going and got us our lovely new kit, complete with new sponsor Nuffield Health’s logo.’
King is currently injured but she praised her replacement in leading the team.
‘Natasha Bullock who is standing in as captain is doing a stellar job at leading on and off the field,’ she added.