Havant keen to silence Tring crowd

Milestone: Nick Whittle
Milestone: Nick Whittle
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Havant expect to face a partisan crowd when they visit Tring for a crucial relegation battle in National Three London & South East (3pm).

The visitors’ survival credentials will be tested to the full in a tight arena with the support packed around the touchline.

Both teams are just above the bottom three so a tense afternoon is in store.

The hosts are only three points behind Havant, who will be desperate to stop them from leapfrogging above them.

‘It is another massive game for us,’ said Havant director of rugby Adam King.

‘If we win it will propel us that much further away from the bottom and the relegation battle.

‘But if we lose we will find ourselves right back in the mix.

‘Tring is always an extremely difficult place to go and get a result and it is important we don’t allow ourselves to be intimidated.

‘We have to deal with it.

‘After our storming win over fifth-placed Bishop’s Stortford last week, though, we can go there with some confidence.

‘We played with an intensity from the start and got out of the blocks quickly.

‘The team stamped their authority on the game early and it is something that we must try and repeat against Tring.

‘There is nothing quite like outplaying a team from the start to silence a partisan home crowd.

‘We must aim to set the tempo and play with no fear.’

The visitors are hopeful second-row forward Nick Whittle will return from a shoulder injury to make his 150th senior appearance.

He replaces Chris Thompson who is unavailable due to Royal Navy duties.

In the past 10 years, 31-year-old IT manager, Whittle, has been a crucial part of the club’s line-out after coming through the Colts.

It is a hugely-impressive milestone and a testament to the dedication of the player to his only club.

The visitors also hope to have another experienced figure in Graeme Frith back after a long exile due to a knee injury.

Prop-forward Al Davenport faces a fitness test on his neck but Havant have the luxury of fielding an unchanged back line.

Forward Dom Porter has Hampshire under-20 commitments on the Sunday so will start on the bench.

Wingers Jaryd Robinson and Dickie Dukes both grabbed a brace of tries last weekend and will be looking to add to their tally.

Havant: Keyte, Robinson, Morris, Stapleton, Dukes, McSeveny, Booth, Wells, Horn, Davenport, Neill, Whittle, Hart, Barfoot, Frith, Porter, Wheeler, Sutton.