Top teams face the crunch

Gavin Williams

Gavin Williams

First published in Rugby Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Rugby correspondent and sub-editor

Something has to give at the top of London 2 South-West and it may well happen this weekend.

Unless there is a draw, the league will have an outright leader tomorrow evening as table toppers Gosport & Fareham and Guildford come face to face.

Gos currently hold top spot courtesy of their points difference, and, they have home advantage for the exciting clash with the only other unbeaten club in the league.

Chasing sides Tottonians and London Cornish have lost ground on the top two but can get back into the promotion race with wins.

Both clubs have home games against teams from the other half of the table – Cornish face Old Reigatian and Totts take on second-from-bottom Teddington, with the clear aim of making ground on the leaders.

Teddington may be one place off rock bottom with just one win to their name but Totts’ head coach Gavin Williams and his first XV squad will not be taking them lightly.

He said: “We know that in this league the form sometimes shown up to a point can be deceiving. You do not know if they have suffered injuries or exactly why they are where they are.”

He added: “We are going for a win and if we do not get four or preferably five points we will be very, very disappointed.

“We need to keep up with the top two. We have Gosport & Fareham away in a few weeks and then both of them at home in the new year so that will be interesting.”

Trojans and Winchester occupy mid-table places – although the Stoneham Lane side have a four-point advantage – and they meet tomorrow.

Winchester have just stepped up to this level from SW3 while home side Trojans were relegated from London 1 South. Neither of them have had ideal starts to the season so victory will be as important to both sides.

Trojans go into the clash on the back of a couple of victories and head coach Dean Lewis says all is well in his camp.

He said: “We aim to build on our momentum and take things forward. We have enjoyed the last two results which have been spot on.

“It has been good to have a week’s rest, the training sessions have been great and we’re pretty happy with where we are at the moment.”

Winchester put the disappointment of a couple of heavy defeats behind them with victory over Portsmouth before the week’s break.

Despite the longest injury list since he took over as head coach at Winchester three seasons ago, Andy Fields remains bullish about his team’s prospects in London 2 South-West.

“We have four games between now and Christmas”, he says, “and we’re targeting four wins.”

Having started the season with a choice of two complete back rows, Fields is likely to have to play a second-row at No 8 tomorrow. Ollie Rogers makes a welcome return at fly-half.

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