Havant and Portsmouth set for mouthwatering clash in RFU Intermediate Women’s Cup this Sunday

Havant Ladies and Portsmouth Valkyries clash in the second round of the RFU Intermediate Cup at Hooks Lane this Sunday (2.30pm).

By Kevin Ricketts
Thursday, 24th October 2019, 6:15 pm
Updated Friday, 25th October 2019, 2:57 pm
Action from one of Portsmouth Valkyries' two league wins against Havant last season.
Action from one of Portsmouth Valkyries' two league wins against Havant last season.

It is an exciting contest between the two top sides in the area with local bragging rights up for grabs.

Both teams have ambitions to do well in the competition.

Havant are top of NC1 after turning over undefeated Canterbury at their home ground last Saturday.

The hosts are improving, even though they have had key players out with injury.

But Havant expect a tough challenge from a Portsmouth side that are not only playing in a higher league but also have a development squad to call on.

Havant head coach Dean Dryhurst said: ‘The journey the ladies are on this season is incredible.

'There is a real buzz amongst the squad, not only with the development but the team-building events taking place off the field.

'If anyone fancied watching local ladies rugby, this will certainly be the game to watch.'

Valkyries coach Mark Witcher is looking forward to a cracking game, saying: ‘We were in the same league as them last season and we know Havant play a very physical game.

'They are unbeaten in the league and doing very well’.

‘We will be looking to match their physicality and to use our experience of playing in Women’s Championship 2 this season to our advantage.

'The club have made several new signings and the artificial pitch at Hooks Lane will be excellent for our brand of running rugby’.

Rosie Staples has been in excellent form in the back row and new signing, Portsmouth University student prop forward Sian Owen, has caught the eye.

Megan Jones and Emily Hare are unavailable due to holidays and Sandy Newsham (knee ligament) and Laura Ineson (concussion) are both ruled out through injury.

Portsmouth certainly enjoyed the upper hand against Havant last season. En route to winning all 14 of their league matches, the Valkyries triumphed 29-18 at home last October and 29-17 at Havant in the first week of the new year.