Pearce challenges Portsmouth to deliver double delight
Portsmouth have their sights set on completing a London two south West double tomorrow when they visit Effingham & Leatherhead.
Earlier in the season Portsmouth edged to a 21-18 win over their Surrey-based visitors.
Another victory would see the city club open up a bigger gap between themselves and the relegation-threatened sides.
They began the year with a thumping 46-8 home win over Hampshire rivals Andover.
Assistant-coach Jim Pearce is looking for his team to build on that success.
‘We produced a powerful second-half performance to see off Andover,’ he said.
‘In the second half we scored 31 points without reply.
‘That win means little, however, if we don’t back it up with another this weekend.
‘Effingham & Leatherhead is never an easy place to go, because of the logistics.
‘You almost need a taxi to get from the changing rooms to the pitch.
‘That means normal routines before the game go out of the window.
‘We have to make sure that we go there and adopt to the situation and not let it faze us.
‘Effingham have a well-drilled pack of forwards and a scrum half who controls things well.
‘Our priority is to impose our style of play on them and play the game the way we want to.
Portsmouth make a couple of changes to their winning line-up.
Outside centre Gareth Richards has a back injury and is replaced by Stewart Davies.
Sam Ellis picked up an injury in training which means Simon Morgan moves to scrum-half.
That allows Dan Gates to move into the centre.
Rotation in the forwards means a recall for Anthony Fooks at blindside wing-forward.
Second-row forward Rob Giquel faces a late fitness test.
In London three south west, United Services Portsmouth host Teddington in a crucial relegation battle at Burnaby Road.
The home side are one place and just one point above the relegation zone.
Teddington are immediately above United Services but have a 10-point cushion.
Southsea Nomads tackle second-placed Alresford at Furze Lane in Hampshire two.
Nomads are looking to bounce back after their 48-5 defeat at Lymington Mariners.