Twickenham rugby dream so close to reality as Portsmouth get set for huge Honiton match

Portsmouth host one of the biggest games in their history as they take on Honiton in the semi-finals of the RFU Senior Vase at Rugby Camp on Saturday (2pm).

Friday, 19th April 2019, 3:14 pm
Noah Cannon has been deadly for Portsmouth. Picture: Keith Woodland (160219-240)
Noah Cannon has been deadly for Portsmouth. Picture: Keith Woodland (160219-240)

There is a lot at stake for both teams with a showpiece end-of-season final at Twickenham the prize for the winners.

Forwards coach Peter Knott believes the team that handles the pressure best will take the honours.

He said: ‘This is a huge game for both teams with a once in a lifetime prize at stake.

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‘Players at our level rarely get the chance to play in a world class stadium.

‘It will mean a lot to the players on both sides.

‘With alleged cutbacks at the RFU we believe it could be the last time the final of the competition will be held at Twickenham.

‘It would be something special if Portsmouth can get there.

‘If we play to our potential we can win but we know we are up against very tough opponents.

'Honition were second in their league and gained promotion.

‘They have also scored a lot of points in getting to this stage.

‘We have also shown good form to get here with excellent wins against Battersea Ironsides and Chelmsford.

‘The latter were probably the best team we have played so far this season.

‘The team have shown they can rise to the occasion and they need to do it again.’

Portsmouth won’t decide on their starting line-up and squad until close to the game.

They are likely to be missing the experience of full-back Matt Farnes who tore a hamstring in the last game.

He is rated highly doubtful.

The home side, however, still possess some deadly finishers in wing pair Noah Cannon and Luke Simmons.

If the forwards can provide the platform Portsmouth possess the power and pace in the three-quarters to trouble Honition.

Knott regards the leadership of captain Darren Leggot in the forwards as a key factor.

He added: ‘Though our oldest player, Darren is still probably one of the fittest.

‘His leadership is important and he is our go-forward man.

‘Our pack of forwards play around him and in previous matches have laid the foundations for victory.

‘They will need to do that again.’

Portsmouth were disappointed to miss out on their target of promotion from London three south west.

They had to settle for third place.

Winning the semi-final and a trip to Twickenham can provide some consolation.

‘Getting to Twickenham would be the icing on the cake.

‘It is something we would like to have a taste of.’