Havant call in Rubenheimer to battle Basingstoke

123992-13_MY_Hav_Rugby'Hampshire Cup quarter final, Havant v Eastleigh.'Joel Knight heads for the line for his second try.  'Pic Mick Young'22/12/2012
123992-13_MY_Hav_Rugby'Hampshire Cup quarter final, Havant v Eastleigh.'Joel Knight heads for the line for his second try. 'Pic Mick Young'22/12/2012
Anthony Fooks. Picture: Neil Marshall (171124-346)

Pearce: Best is yet to come from Portsmouth

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Havant have toughened up their ranks with the recall of veteran Dylan Rubenheimer for their London one south match at Basingstoke tomorrow.

Manager Rob Matthews is expecting a real war of attrition as he takes his men to Pack Lane.

Rubenheimer, 35, brings experience and physical presence to the Havant squad.

The number eight could well have a crucial role to play.

‘Whatever happens with the weather, it is bound to be boggy underfoot,’ said Matthews.

‘Dylan has played more than 200 league games for the club and could help us build a platform in the heavy conditions.

‘He is strong on the ball and will pull other players in around him.

‘His ability to make clear decisions in situations will also be a bonus.’

Basingstoke have scored more than 650 points already this season.

Havant are well aware they are starting the match as big underdogs.

But the pressure will be on the home side and Matthews hopes to use that to Havant’s advantage.

‘We can go into the game with nothing to lose,’ said Matthews.

‘This weekend is all about getting back to playing rugby.

‘It is not one we are targeting to have to win and therefore can go into it with the aim of being as competitive as we can.

‘If we can cut out the mistakes that we made against Chichester last time out then we can achieve that.

‘We are looking to build and this is another important part of the process.’

One of the big successes for Havant this season has been the move of Joel Knight from outside-half to inside-centre.

Knight has blossomed in his new position which gives him that little bit more time on the ball.

He has exploited that and made things happen around for the players around him.

Having Pete Living alongside has also been a big factor.

In the win over Gosport & Fareham, two searing inside breaks set up two early tries as the outstanding Knight put his team in the driving seat.

‘He has a fantastic rugby brain,’ said Matthews.

‘His ability to attack and get over the gain line has led to Sam Berridge and James Reed getting more opportunities in attacking areas.’

Havant have the bad weather to thank for Knight’s availability this weekend.

He had been due to attend a training session for the Wales Students Rugby League squad.

The snow put paid to that and freed him up to feature for Havant, instead.

Anything Havant can get from the game will be a bonus and Matthews recognises there are bigger games coming up.

‘We go to Dover next week for a rearranged game and that is a game we are targeting,’ said Matthews.

‘The games we need to win and those we need to win with bonus points are all mapped out between now and the end of the season.’

Havant: Morris, Wilks, J. Knight, Berridge, Loz Blackburn, Living, Davenport, Elsmore, Osborne, Marks, Parkins, Roberts, White, Anchor, L. Barfoot, Ward-Golden, D. Bellman, Rubenheimer.