Clubs have to play catch-up

Andy Fields

Andy Fields

First published in Sport

A handful of clubs are playing fixture catch-up tomorrow on what was planned to be a rest or cup weekend.

While some players can settle down to watch three Six Nations games on the bounce, others will have to pull on their rugby jersies for club duty and miss the Wales v Scotland fixture on TV.

Three Hampshire sides – Tottonians, Winchester and Portsmouth – are all in action in London 2 South-West.

Totts host Winchester at Water Lane as they aim to hold on to third spot until the end of the season.

That place is only under threat from London Cornish but Winch have turned their campaign around in recent weeks and fourth spot is not out of the question for them.

Winch, beaten 39-10 by this weekend’s opponents in October, head to Totton with confidence after four wins, a draw and just one defeat this year.

Coach Andy Fields, who will be in Rome to watch the England game tomorrow, said: “I used up to 43 players before Christmas and 23 since then so it speaks for itself.

“Everyone is looking forward to Saturday. Players’ memories, people like Campbell Ettinger, of playing Totts is of being stuffed all the time and they are bullish about this game and up for it,.

“But we know it’s Totts we are playing and they will be tough to beat.

Winch won another Hampshire derby when they defeated Trojans a week ago to move up to fifth and travel to fourth-placed London Cornish in a week’s time.

Fields added: “We talked about it and the players want to target fourth place and if we want to do it we will have to be focussed. “In reality there is not a huge points difference in where we are and third from bottom.”

Totts coach Gavin Williams will field his ‘strongest’ backline tomorrow, which is the one that played Winchester last year.

He said: “We have the same forwards that dominated for us last week and hopefully they will give us a platform for the backs.

“We want to finish our last five games with wins – two at home and three away. “Gosport will be a hard one but that is our aim and we will not be hiding from it.”

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