Pearce: All Portsmouth can do is win and see what happens

Portsmouth travel to Battersea Ironsides knowing they need a win to keep their London three south west promotion hopes alive.

Friday, 6th April 2018, 6:50 am
Jim Pearce. Picture: Neil Marshall

Jim Pearce’s troops are seven points behind leaders Old Emanuel with two games remaining.

The director of rugby insists Portsmouth must not drop any points and hope one of the two teams above them slip up.

Pearce said: ‘We can only worry about what we can control.

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‘All we can do is go out and win our final two games and wait to see what happens elsewhere.

‘Going to Battersea isn’t easy, though, and we have to ensure our preparation is right.’

The visitors make one change in the forwards, with Fin Parry returning at loose-head prop after his two-match ban.

In the three-quarters, Gareth Richards is unavailable so Lee Chandler starts at outside half.

Dan Gates moves across to inside centre, with Luke Simmons back on the wing.

Pearce is hoping Curtis Barnes can continue where he left off against Old Cranleighans. The winger scored five tries in the 38-34 win last weekend.

Meanwhile, in Hampshire one, United Services Portsmouth put their perfect record on the line at third-placed Fordingbridge.

Southsea Nomads host Fawley at Furze Lane in a must-win Hampshire two fixture.

The previous meeting between the two sides saw Fawley narrowly edge victory in a close 15-13 contest.

Pressure is on the Nomads to avoid relegation but coach Mike Westall is boosted by a full-strength squad to choose from.

With promotion to Hampshire one next season confirmed, Locksheath Pumas play their final match of the season at Romsey.

The winner is guaranteed second spot.

Chairman George Winch said: ‘Our objective was promotion but to finish second would be a real bonus.

‘Romsey are tough opponents but the coaching staff have selected a side from a squad that has competed well all season.’