Portsmouth keen to see off league leaders

Portsmouth are geared up for the challenge of taking on London two south west leaders London Cornish at Rugby Camp (3pm).

Friday, 21st October 2016, 8:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 25th October 2016, 7:32 pm
Ian French

The home side boosted their confidence with a good RFU Intermediate Cup win over Dartfordians in their last game.

In the league, however, Portsmouth have made a disappointing start and find themselves second from bottom.

Taking on the top side won’t be easy, but senior coach Ben Dudley believes his team can get something out of the game.

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‘Arguably, this will be our toughest test yet,’ said Dudley.

‘We have put ourselves under a bit of pressure with our poor league results.

‘Our cup win was very encouraging, although we still realise we have a long way to go.

‘Most importantly, we are able to field an unchanged starting line-up for the first time this season.

‘All we are focusing on is improving our performances week in, week out.

‘I am looking for us to go out and be competitive.

‘We have set ourselves targets both as individuals and as a team.’

Portsmouth’s only changes are on the replacements’ bench, where Ian French, Lee Chandler and James Kelly are drafted in.

United Services Portsmouth are keen to kick-start their London three south west campaign with a win over Old Tiffinians at Burnaby Road (3pm).

A run of defeats has seen Services slip into the bottom three in the league’s standings.

Director of Rugby Matt Davis is confident his side can pull away from danger.

‘We have been playing well but the results have not matched our efforts,’ he said.

‘The league table doesn’t lie and we need to start getting into a winning habit.

‘If we can get two or three in a row then we should be okay.

‘We don’t want to be going into the new year looking over our shoulders in a relegation battle.’

Services have Scott Carter returning at outside-half to give them added organisation in that area.

They are also boosted by the return of their skipper, Liam Keoghan, in the back-row.

In Hampshire two, Southsea Nomads host Aldershot & Fleet at Furze Lane (3pm).