Portsmouth Valkyries hope to crown brilliant season with play-off win against St Mary’s

Portsmouth Valkyries travel to Warminster on Sunday to face Bristol-based St Mary’s OB Ladies in a winner-takes-all regional play off for promotion to National Championship division two south west (2.45pm).

Friday, 5th April 2019, 2:32 pm
Bronwyn Jacobs on the charge. Picture: Ian Hargreaves  (030219-2)
Bronwyn Jacobs on the charge. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (030219-2)

The Valkyries are hoping they will take strong travelling support, despite the neutral venue of Warminster only being confirmed by the RFU on Tuesday.

It has been an outstanding league season and they team have been playing superb rugby.

Mark Witcher and his coaching team led the team to the title and it has highlighted more great progress throughout the club.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The Valkyries have enjoyed great success in the last two years, firstly by gaining promotion to south east west one in the 2016-17 season and winning the RFU National Junior Cup against Sutton Coldfield last year.

Going up a division would be a huge boost to women’s rugby in the area, attracting more ladies to the game and a big lift for Portsmouth Rugby Club as well.

The team have scored heavily and enjoyed some crushing victories.

Witcher said: ‘The Portsmouth pack has been a dominant force this season, allowing our backs to play a quick flowing brand of rugby.

‘That’s produced an average of more than 33 points per game.

‘But it’s our defence that has to be praised the most with the side conceding less than six points per league game.’

The Valkyries have had 20 different try scorers this season which have come from both backs and forwards.

Centre Chloe Stopard has scored 11 tries this season and powerful No 8 Sophy Roseaman has scored nine, which shows the attacking strength of the Valkyries.

Witcher added: ‘We don’t know much about Sunday’s opposition, which is allowing us to concentrate on our own style of play.

‘What we do know is that they are also unbeaten in their league so we will have to be at our best in the play-off final.

‘Training has gone well recently and the Royal Navy women’s team trained with us on Tuesday which has helped us prepare for this weekend’s match and them for their game against the RAF.’

The Valkyries have a very strong squad to select from with skipper Alice Kightley leading the promotion play-off charge, supported by vice captains Charlie Morgan and Bronwyn Jacobs.

Forwards Amy Dare, Kasi Munns and Abbi Reid are not available for selection.