Portsmouth need to deliver now after big promotion blow

Neil McRoberts is expecting a huge reaction from Portsmouth as they welcome Old Georgians to Rugby Camp.

Thursday, 7th March 2019, 9:07 am
Updated Thursday, 7th March 2019, 10:10 am
Portsmouth need to respond to promotion setback. Picture: Duncan Shepherd

Portsmouth need a response in London Three South West after their disappointing defeat at Andover, which severely dented their promotion hopes.

Their fate is no longer in their own hands with just four games remaining.

They trail second-placed Battersea Ironsides by seven points and need results elsewhere to go their way if they are to catch them.

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The trip to Battersea in a few weeks time will prove crucial.

If they are to stand any chance of keeping their hopes alive senior coach Neil McRoberts insists they cannot lose again.

'It is no good feeling sorry for ourselves,' said McRoberts.

'We have to dust ourselves down and be prepared to go again.

'Getting promotion will be difficult now but we just have to win games and see where it takes us.'

In the RFU Senior Vase Portsmouth have been given home advantage against Chelmsford in the London & South East play-off final next weekend

The winners will host the winners of Honition versus Chesham in the National semi-finals

Twickenham will host the final on the first weekend in May.

United Services Portsmouth are keen to get back to winning ways as they host Andover at Burnaby Road.

Services' chances of promotion virtually disappeared with their 36-10 defeat at Old Tiffinians.

Player coach Rich Neil is happy with the progress being made.

'Last time we came up into this league we went straight down,' said Neil.

'This time we have been stronger and got into a good position.

'We weren't quite at the races enough in the second half of the season.

'There are plenty of positives to build on going forward.'

Petersfield visit Old Whitgiftian in what is expected to be a tense relegation tussle.

The home side are five points ahead of the visitors who are second from bottom.

In Hampshire Two, Southsea Nomads will be determined to see off the challenge of struggling Aldershot & Fleet at Furze Lane.

Nomads have their sights set on a top-three finish at the end of the season.

To achieve this they need to make up five points on Chineham immediately above them.