Portsmouth discipline needed

Portsmouth's Simon Morgan Picture: Malcolm Wells
Portsmouth's Simon Morgan Picture: Malcolm Wells
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Portsmouth will need to keep their discipline as they start their London Two south-west campaign at Warlingham.

The hosts possess one of the best goal-kickers in the league.

The visitors, however, can travel with confidence after last week’s 11-10 Intermediate Cup win at Dartfordians.

Director of Rugby, Nigel Morgan, is predicting a tough opening few weeks in the league.

‘Four of our first five competitive games are away from home and the home game is against highly-fancied Winchester,’ he said.

‘Last season Warlingham had a big set of forwards backed up by a deadly goal-kicker.

‘We did well at Dartfordians in our opening cup game and secured a fair bit of possession.

‘All we need is a bit more patience at times, particularly in our opponents’ twenty-two, and the scores would have come.

‘Our defence was also very good, especially in the last 10 minutes when we were holding on to our one-point lead.

‘All the hard work put in at training during the summer is starting to pay off.’

Ex-Portsmouth Colt, Luke Simmons, comes in for his debut at centre, and Andy Barnes comes in at outside-half.

Simon Morgan moves to full-back, while the forwards remain the same from the cup success.

Newly-promoted United Services Portsmouth start life in London Three south-west with a visit to Old Tiffinians.

Director of Rugby Matt Davis is quietly confident Services can take the step-up in their stride.

‘We are all excited about the new season but don’t know quite what to expect,’ said Davis.

‘I am sure that we can consolidate ourselves at the higher level.

‘Our intention is to approach it a bit like last season and enjoy our rugby along the way.

‘We have strengthened our squad with a few new additions and new head coach Jimmy Taylor has been working hard with the team all summer.’

Prop-forward Luke Davies, who arrived from Chichester, and back-row forward James Mildenhall, make their debuts.

Petersfield open their Hampshire One campaign with a trip across the Solent to take on Sandown & Shanklin.