Havant chief looks to the positives

Ben Brierley breaks forwards for Havant. Picture: Allan Hutchings (132520-477)
Ben Brierley breaks forwards for Havant. Picture: Allan Hutchings (132520-477)
Dave Wheaton and the Fareham Heathens. Picture: Neil Marshall (171152-317)

Double trouble for heroic Heathens

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Havant’s poor start to the new campaign continued with a second successive home London one south defeat.

The Hooks Lane side went down 25-10 to Chichester.

And they are facing up to another tough campaign in their bid to regroup and rebuild.

The loss of talented hooker Pete Austin due to his army rugby commitments before the game proved a huge blow.

As a result Havant struggled to gain any decent amount of ball and were forced to live on scraps.

‘It is disappointing result but again there are a number of positives to take out,’ said director of rugby Will Knight.

‘We had to go into the game without a recognised line-out thrower and we struggled massively with our set-piece.

‘Our scrum and line-out didn’t work but these are areas we can work on, so I am sure it won’t be replicated again this season.

‘In a game where we had to survive off 10 per cent of possession, I was pleased with what we were able to do with that.

‘There is plenty there to build upon and the nature of the way we were able to contain a side who had a constant stream of possession was very encouraging.

‘Our defence was absolutely phenomenal and we didn’t shirk any responsibility.

‘The organisation was good and the tackling was excellent.

‘When we actually gained possession we looked very dangerous.

‘If we can get a better supply of ball we showed we will be very effective against any team in our league.’

Havant started well and took the lead with an early Jake Reynolds penalty.

Chichester hit back with two penalties before indiscipline cost the home side dearly as Niall Copeland was shown a yellow card.

Knight was frustrated by Copeland’s spell in the sin bin.

And he watched as the visitors took advantage, extending their lead to 13-6 with a try and a penalty in the next 10 minutes.

Havant started the second period aggressively and Joel Knight scored a superb individual try.

The forwards drove the ball up to halfway and captain Knight ran from just inside the Chichester half for an excellent score.

Reynolds added the conversion – putting Havant right back in it at 13-10.

New centre Ben Brierley looked dangerous and made some telling breaks whenever he could get his hands on the ball.

And although Chichester added another try soon afterwards, it was Havant indiscipline that again ended the home side’s hopes.

A second yellow card put them under increased pressure and Chichester ended the game with a soft try.

‘In reality we were in the game for a lot longer than the score suggests,’ said Knight.

‘There is a lot to take out of it but we do have to improve our discipline.’