Chander out to win ugly

Portsmouth coach Ian Chandler
Portsmouth coach Ian Chandler
Scott Morris. Picture: Chris Moorhouse

Havant chief rues missed opportunity

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Portsmouth are expecting one of their stiffest tests of the season at Tottonians in London two south west (3pm).

The Rugby Camp club made a winning start to their campaign with a thrilling 23-22 win over Old Alleynians.

Coach Ian Chandler, however, is predicting a tough derby against one of the highly-fancied teams.

‘It will be interesting to see how we match up against one of the stronger outfits in our league,’ he said.

‘Tottonians and London Cornish are the two favourites to win it, having established teams built up over the last few years.

‘Ability-wise, I feel we are on a par with them but in terms of team development they are a year or two ahead of us.

‘There is no reason, though, why we can’t go there and beat them.’

If Portsmouth are to upset their hosts they will have to be far more clinical in their finishing.

In their opening game they almost paid a severe price for wasting their chances.

Chandler was left infuriated by his team’s tendency to take their foot off the pedal, thinking they had the game won.

In the end it took a last-ditch try in the final play of the game to secure the win.

‘All good sides have a ruthless streak and it is something we have to work on,’ said Chandler.

‘If you get the opposition on the ropes it is important to keep them there.

‘Over the years we have always tried to play open, attractive rugby and sometimes that allows opponents back into the game.

‘You have to pick your moments and we are guilty of being a bit naive at times.

‘Sometimes you have to be able to win ugly.’

Chandler is forced to make a number of changes to his side because of unavailability.

Harry Wilson, Rich Farmer and Chris Morgan are all missing.

Toby Hill comes into the back row and 19-year-old Ed Hopkins makes his debut on the wing.

United Services start their Hampshire one campaign with a trip to the Isle of Wight.

Petersfield visit Bognor looking to build on their winning return to the top county level.