Havant chief plays down title hopes after stellar win

Jerome Trail. Picture: Neil Marshall

Jerome Trail. Picture: Neil Marshall

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Havant showed they can be the real deal with an impressive 46-28 London one south win at title-chasing rivals CS Rugby 1863.

The victory saw the Hooks Lane outfit leapfrog their hosts into second spot and within eight points of leaders Sidcup.

And while head coach Will Knight remains cautious over Havant’s chances of regaining their National League status, he admitted it was a great win.

‘This was an excellent performance against one of the better teams we have played,’ he said.

‘For long periods it was a tight contest and we were still behind at the start of the second half.

‘There were times when we had to adjust but even then we kept our concentration.

‘By maintaining our shape and keeping playing to our systems in the end we ran away with it.

‘We had too much firepower for them to handle.

‘Physically we were able to put them under a lot of pressure and sides can only withstand that for so long.

‘We won’t allow ourselves to get too carried away, though, and will continue with our hard work.’

Havant started well and took a 10th-minute lead when hooker Jerome Trail came off the base of a lineout drive to force his way over.

Joel Knight added the conversion and soon after Dave Sweeney knocked over a drop goal to give the visitors a 10-0 lead.

CS showed their calibre to hit back with two converted scores but Joel Knight then underlined his quality with an individual try under the posts.

The conversion meant Havant led 17-14 at the halfway stage.

A missed tackle at the start of the second period allowed CS to regain the lead but from that point onwards Havant took charge.

Trail picked up on the CS 10-metre line and sprinted away for his second try of the game and when the home side saw their hooker yellow-carded, Havant took full advantage.

Scrum-half Wayne John and full-back Loz Blackburn quickly added further tries.

Winger Jerome Rudder stretched the lead to 46-21 with a sixth.

Although the hosts grabbed a converted try late on, it was merely a consolation effort.

Will Knight added: ‘It was a very competitive game throughout.

‘The players are starting to embrace and deal with the pressure that comes with winning and being at the top end of the league.

‘It was a real 18-man performance with quality right throughout.

‘We must, however, make sure we don’t get too ahead of ourselves.

‘In this league it has been proved teams on their day can beat anyone.

‘It is a cliche but we will be taking every game as it comes and not worrying about what might happen further down the line.’

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