Portsmouth must carry form back to league duty

PORTSMOUTH turn their attentions back to the London south west two as they take on Old Tonbridgians the visitors to Rugby Camp.

Friday, 27th January 2017, 6:00 am
Portsmouth's Jack Easterbrook on the charge in the cup. Picture: Habibur Rahman

The team have been making great progress in the RFU Intermediate Cup.

They have been drawn away to Charlton Park in the regional semi-finals and our just three games away from a Twickenham final.

In the meantime, however, assistant coach Jim Pearce emphasises the need to put their cup exploits on the back burner.

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The priority is now on picking up league points.

They have made a terrific start to the new year, winning their two league games plus the cup game against Old Colfeians.

Pearce is keen to see his side maintain their momentum.

They want to put more distance between themselves and the teams who are scrapping near the bottom.

‘We have opened up a 12-point gap above the teams below us and must look to widen it further,’ said Pearce.

‘The two teams immediately below us play each other so it is important we get a positive result.

‘We owe Tonbridgians one because we lost at their place.

‘On that day we were not at our best and gifted them a start.

‘By the time we started playing it was too late to claw it back.

‘Since the start of the new year we have put in some good performances.

‘We need to increase the amount of time we control games for.’

Forwards Rob Gicquel and Rhys Bowen are likely to be ruled out by rib injuries.

Tom Whitehouse is unavailable on the wing and is replaced by fit-again Luke Peters.

United Services face a difficult task at second-placed Eastleigh in London south west three.

Third from bottom Services boosted their chances of staying up with an excellent win over Teddington.

Chairman Paul Kelly accepts Services face a big challenge despite that impressive victory which gave them hope.

‘We have got eight games left and have a tough run in,’ said Kelly.

‘After our win over Teddington, however,the mood is very upbeat in the club.

‘Centre Tom Blewitt has come back to us.

‘And we have also been boosted by a couple of other new players.

‘We know we have to win more games if we are to stay up.’

Southsea Nomads travel to Aldershot & Fleet tomorrow in Hampshire two.