Portsmouth coach wants more of the same

UNBEATEN Portsmouth are expecting their stiffest test of the London three south west season so far when they host fourth-placed Warlingham.

Thursday, 4th October 2018, 5:00 pm
Updated Friday, 5th October 2018, 5:10 pm
Portsmouth are out for a fifth successive victory against Warlingham. Picture: Neil Marshall

The Rugby Camp side have made a dream start to the campaign and are looking for a fifth straight win.

Senior coach Neil McRoberts has told his troops to carry on where they left off following their 42-12 win at Teddington last weekend.

A success for second-placed Portsmouth could see them leapfrog leaders Winchester if they slip up at Old Tiffinians.

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The priority for the McRoberts, however, is making sure his players stand up to the Warlingham challenge.

He said: '˜Warlingham are a big, physical side and we have to be prepared to front up to that. It is up to us to dictate how that goes.

'˜Just like last week we must set the tone early and play the game on our terms.

'˜We put in a terrific performance at Teddington and must look to build on that.

'˜The most impressive aspect was our aggressive defence.

'˜That put Teddington under pressure when they had the ball and stopped them playing.

'˜If we want to maintain our 100-per-cent record then we will need another top performance.'

McRoberts has the luxury of fielding virtually the same team and will make a couple of minor adjustments.

Kieran Heffernan picked up an injury at Teddington so Louis Bristol returns to the second row.

Anthony Fooks drops back to wing forward because of Will Brock's unavailability.

The experienced Greg Hoolihan will feature at hooker.

With Portsmouth at home against Warlingham, McRoberts stressed his side must use it to their advantage. 

He added: '˜It is important to win your home games.

'˜Once the win has been established then we push for the bonus points.

'˜Competition for places is increasing all the time but at the moment we are sticking with a winning formula.

'˜It is good we have the flexibility to move people around in different positions on a week-to-week basis.'