Neville: All’s not lost

Dan Neville Picture: Mick Young
Dan Neville Picture: Mick Young
Steve Cruddas will start for Havant. Picture: Chris Moorhouse

Matthews: Unbeaten streak key to Havant’s promotion charge

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Portsmouth are looking for some inspiration to avoid a seventh straight London two south west defeat as they host Old Reigatians at Rugby Camp.

The city club have made a disastrous start to their league campaign under new coaches Sid Street and Mike Hoban.

Director of rugby Ed Neville insists, however, that all is not lost.

‘It hasn’t all been bad and we have got better and better each week,’ said Neville.

‘Last week at Effingham & Leatherhead our forwards were outstanding and didn’t deserve to be on the losing side.

‘We just need a little bit of inspiration from somewhere.

‘Apart from the Gosport & Fareham game, though, we have been competitive for large parts of the game.

‘I am optimistic things are improving and all is not lost.

‘We can get ourselves out of this mess.’

The Rugby Camp outfit are boosted by the return of a number of key players against the powerful visitors.

Dan Neville is back at outside-half after a two-week break due to medical duties, and the three-quarters are also boosted by the re-appearance of Curtis Barnes and Lee Norman.

Full-back Danny Harris also returns after a three-week absence.

‘We are hopeful that this week we can put all the aspects of our game together,’ said Neville.

Meanwhile. United Services director of rugby, Simon Burns, has warned his side they must have their mindset right for their Hampshire one visit to lowly Southampton.

Services almost slipped up against bottom club Overton last weekend and Burns doesn’t want a repeat.

‘The lads need to improve on last week when they nearly threw it away,’ said Burns.

‘We are only one point off second place and need to keep on winning. There are four teams fighting at the top and we are firmly in the mix.

‘There is all to play for and the situation will be clearer as he head into the new year.

‘Fortunately, we do have a number of senior players returning.’

One of those is winger Steve Gee, who has made the short move from Portsmouth back to Burnaby Road.

After their battling performance against unbeaten Hampshire two leaders Petersfield last weekend, Southsea Nomads head for Alresford.

Petersfield welcome Isle of Wight outfit Ventnor to Penns Place.