Look out Dorking, Havant are no longer the whipping boys of National League three London & south east.
The two sides meet at Hooks Lane tomorrow, with the hosts feeling confident after lifting themselves off the bottom of the table with victory at Gravesend last weekend.
And rapidly-improving Havant – who could be without Pete Austin who could line up for London Irish this weekend – are getting a taste for victory.
After suffering some fearful hammerings in the first half of the season, all the hard work is starting to pay off for Will Knight’s team.
Suddenly, there is a belief within the side they can give anyone a good game.
A first win over Bracknell before Christmas, followed by a draw at London Irish Amateur and last week’s success, has given Havant a lifeline in their bid to survive at national level.
‘We have given ourselves a chance,’ said director of rugby Knight.
‘There is still a lot left for us to do but we can now approach the situation with greater confidence.
‘We know we haven’t become world-beaters overnight and have to keep our feet placed firmly on the ground.
‘Dorking will still present us with a massive test, though we can go into the game at least now knowing they are beatable.
‘The win at Gravesend last week, though, was most satisfying and we proved a lot to ourselves.
‘Under huge pressure, we showed great strength of character and resilience.
‘When you find yourself in as difficult a place as we are, it is all about remaining positive.
‘We must continue to work on our basic skills and developing the players in the squad.
‘Whatever happens at the end of the season, the priority is to make sure we are heading in the right direction.’
Development of the squad at Hooks Lane remains the priority, with the focus on careful preparation.
Knight wants to create an environment where players enjoy, learn and develop their skills.
He knows it is about players being smart with their rugby and able to make the right decisions at key moments.
Knight is hoping to retain the services of influential hooker Austin this weekend, although there is a chance he could be called up into the London Irish squad for their game against the Scarlets.
‘We won’t stand in his way because it is a massive opportunity for the player,’ said Knight.
‘He would be a big miss for us, though, because he has made a huge impact since coming back.
‘It would be an important part of the player’s development and a feather in our cap if he makes the grade.’
Havant: Read, Duke, Bamford, Gains, Robinson, Knight J, Morris, Elsmore, Austin, Marks, Roberts, Parkin, Horn, Burgess-Kelly, Howard, Cutting, Barfoot, Blackburn L