Pumas hunt an upset

John Barfoot. Picture: Ian Hargreaves
John Barfoot. Picture: Ian Hargreaves
Luke Simmons slides in for the opening try. Picture: Neil Marshall (171730-1)

Portsmouth closing in on Twickenham dream

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Locks Heath Pumas are relishing the chance to cause an upset at Romsey in the Hampshire Plate.

The unbeaten Hampshire two leaders have been in excellent form and are aiming for promotion at the end of the season.

And although they have been badly hit by unavailability, Pumas coach Jim Pearce believes his squad is strong enough to cope with their Hampshire one hosts.

‘The league is our priority, so a number of players are taking a week off,’ he said.

‘We are still sending a team we feel are capable of causing an upset.

‘Our squad has a lot more depth this season.

‘In the league we have won five out of five, picking up bonus points.

‘Romsey are a league above us but it is where we aspire to be.

‘This will be a good test and will show us where we are.’

Pumas have been boosted by the arrival of a number of experienced faces including former Havant player John Barfoot and ex-Gosport & Fareham captain Liam Moggeridge.

Stuart Forbes, who has moved into the area from Suffolk, has proved a revelation, too, scoring nine tries in five games.

With Pumas set to ring the changes, prop Dave Launder comes off the bench, while Mike Parker and Alan Ainscow move up from the second team.

Veteran centre Gary Camfield will give the 
three-quarters added experience.

Fareham Heathens expect to progress at the expense of Hampshire two strugglers Southsea Nomads at Cams Alders (2.30pm).

Heathens have made a good start to life in Hampshire one after being promoted and should prove far too strong for the visitors.

Nomads are propping up Hampshire two without a win so far this season.

Petersfield should also carry too much firepower for Hampshire two visitors Aldershot & Fleet at Penns Place.

Field bounced back to winning ways in the league last weekend with an excellent 33-27 win over Fordingbridge.

The visitors have won just once in the league.

They suffered a 56-0 defeat at Chineham in their last outing.