Portsmouth Valkyries will need to keep cool against inspired derby rivals HavantÂ

Portsmouth Valkyries will not be taking a derby repeat for granted as they face inspired Havant Ladies at Rugby Camp.

Thursday, 3rd January 2019, 10:11 am
Updated Thursday, 10th January 2019, 11:37 am
Portsmouth Valkyries won the derby at Havant in October. Picture: Ian Hargreaves

The home side are looking to complete a league double over their fierce rivals.

Portsmouth won the first meeting 29-19 in what proved to be a feisty affair with the Rugby Camp club collecting three yellow cards and a red card.

Another keenly-contested affair is on the cards and Havant have shown their pedigree recently.

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A bumper crowd is expected for the match (2pm).

Portsmouth coach Mark Witcher said: '˜We are looking forward to getting back into action after the Christmas break.

'˜Havant did us a favour by beating the league leaders recently so we know we can't take anything for granted.

'˜We will be fielding a strong squad.

'˜Our focus will be on being far more disciplined this time around.

'˜We played over half the last game against them with just 14 players.

'˜Hopefully this time around we will let our rugby do the talking.'

The Valkyries welcome back the influential Charlie Morgan and include new signings Natasha Davison, Nikki Buckingham and Megan Jones.

Havant Ladies feel they have improved since their hard-fought defeat in the first game. 

They have struggled this season with injury but proved week in, week out they can't be written off.

Just prior to the festive break they shocked league-leaders London Welsh, knocking them off the top with a 22-17 win.

Head coach Dean Dryhurst is excited by the prospect of producing a similar result against the current leaders.

He said: '˜I am pleased with the progress we are making.

'˜We are targeting a win and would love to spoil Portsmouth's unbeaten record.'

Havant are running an Inner Warrior event on Saturday, January 19, from 10.30am to 11.30am where any ladies who want to go along can give rugby a try.

This is followed by food and drink.

Any ladies interested in attending can email the club.

For more information contact [email protected]