Chandler looking for Portsmouth progress

James Botten is in the Portsmouth squad for the clash with Chichester
James Botten is in the Portsmouth squad for the clash with Chichester
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Tom Whitehouse. Picture: Neil Marshall (171730-81)

Pearce fires warning to triumphant Portsmouth

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Portsmouth are without regular goal-kicker Will Carpenter as title-chasing Chichester visit Rugby Camp in London south one tomorrow (2.30pm).

Carpenter, who has solved the city club’s kicking problems in recent weeks, is ruled out with a shoulder injury.

But head coach Ian Chandler is still looking for his men to showcase the strides they have made since a crushing defeat at the hands of their neighbours earlier this season.

‘It is a concern going into such a tough game without a regular goal-kicker,’ he said.

‘We are going into this game with a lot to prove to ourselves.

‘At the start of the season we put in our worst performance at Chichester and we lost heavily.

‘We had a very young side out and they were overawed.

‘Chichester are one of the strongest sides in our league but we have come a long way since the first game.

‘We also have a much stronger team taking the field so we will be looking to do a lot better.

‘Chichester’s style of rugby is very effective and based on a big pack of forwards.

‘It is very one-dimensional and not the sort of game we like to play.

‘Our aim will be to move the ball around and unsettle their pattern of play.

‘It should make for an intriguing encounter.’

Portsmouth make one change in the forwards, with Jason Crabb rested due to neck problems.

As for the goal-kicking problems, Chandler indicated all his players had been practising that art during the week.

‘As soon as one of them gets a kick over he will be our goal-kicker,’ he said.

Portsmouth: Whitely, Bion, Hodell, Ealey, Gates, Graham, Botten, Sargeant, Hoolihan, Hankey, Leach, French, Long, Brock, Lynch, Cartmill, Nichols, Favour.