Havant ready for big night against Tottonians… Portsmouth host Bromley with Twickenham lure

Scott Morris in action as Havant beat Hove on their new pitch last weekend. Picture: Keith Woodland
Scott Morris in action as Havant beat Hove on their new pitch last weekend. Picture: Keith Woodland
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Havant and Tottonians compete in the new Hampshire Challenge Trophy under the Hooks Lane floodlights tonight (8pm).

The home club are hoping Friday night rugby will attract a larger than normal crowd.

This competition replaces the Gales HSB Hampshire Cup which had become increasingly difficult to fit into a packed league season.

The winners of tonight's game will meet Bournemouth in a cross-county challenge later in the season.

Floodlit games are a rarity in the county and have proved popular in the past.

Last season a sizeable crowd turned out at Burnaby Road to watch United Services Portsmouth take on Portsmouth in a Hampshire Bowl contest.

Tonight’s game has the added attraction of being played on Havant's brand new artificial grass pitch.

The home side unveiled their facilities in style last weekend with a confident home league win against Hove.

Meanwhile, Portsmouth are on the Twickenham trail as they entertain Bromley in the RFU Senior Vase at Rugby Camp on Saturday (2pm).

It is a repeat of last season's meeting between the two clubs in the same competition.

On that occasion Portsmouth came out on top after a competitive affair.

Home coach Neil McRoberts believes the fact the final is held at Twickenham gives the players an added incentive.

He said: ‘The team that goes through will find themselves three games away from a Twickenham final.

‘That is a big motivator for any player.

‘It is a good competition to be in and a welcome distraction from the pressures of league rugby.

‘We are fielding a strong side but at the same time using it to give a few players an opportunity.

‘All of our team have played in the senior side this season.

‘A few have found themselves on the fringes and this is a chance for them to shine.

‘Others can have a well-earned rest.

‘We are moving into a very important period in the league as we head towards Christmas.

‘It affords us a chance to work on a few things ready for that.’

The visitors are currently eighth in London three south-east having won four and lost four of their league games.