Pearce calls for more from Portsmouth

Assistant coach Jim Pearce needs a performance from Portsmouth as they visit Andover still searching for their first London two south west win of the season (3pm).

Saturday, 24th September 2016, 9:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 5th October 2016, 1:54 pm
Darren Crabbe Picture: Mick Young

The Rugby Camp club have made a poor start, losing their opening two games – both at home, against Camberley and Winchester.

With Andover also without a win, a tense afternoon could be in store for both teams.

Pearce is calling for a more disciplined display from the visitors, though.

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‘It is fair to say that we have under-performed so far this season,’ he said.

‘In our first two games we have looked good for the opening 20 minutes or so but then faded away.

‘We have failed to adapt to what is happening on the pitch and that has cost us.

‘Against Winchester we didn’t react to the official’s interpretation at the breakdown and gave away penalties which kept the opposition in the game.

‘We also need to be far more clinical in the red zone and put our chances away when they come along.

‘A win will help the players take the pressure off themselves so they can focus on the performances.’

Portsmouth make a number of changes due to unavailability and injury.

In the forwards, Darren Crabbe and Greg Hoolihan are away at weddings, which means Luke Richardson and Rhys Bowen are drafted in.

Damien Gibbs returns at number eight.

In the front row, Tom Smith moves off the replacements’ bench into the tight-head spot.

In the three-quarters, Luke Chandler starts at inside centre after doing well as a replacement in the last game.

A wrist injury rules out winger Hamish Laybourne so Guildford University student Luke Simmonds takes his place.

US Portsmouth are in derby action as they host Trojans in London three south west at Burnaby Road.

The home side are looking to build on their excellent 30-15 win at Bognor.

‘We played well at Bognor and created a lot of chances,’ said Services director of rugby Matt Davis.

‘New coach Andy Tart is doing an excellent job putting new structures in place.’

Southsea Nomads begin their Hampshire two campaign with a long trip to Kingsclere.