Frustrated Havant punished for lifeless start

Scott Morris

Havant were left bemoaning a slow start as they suffered a 34-28 defeat at unbeaten London one south leaders Medway.

The visitors left themselves too much to do after letting their Kent hosts race into a 27-0 lead.

For the second week running, Havant launched a brave fightback. But on this occasion it wasn’t enough.

Head coach Will Knight was disappointed and left to wonder what might have been.

‘We can’t afford to keep giving teams a 25-point start,’ he said.

‘Once again we were slow out of the blocks and Medway punished us.

‘At the start we seemed to lack the necessary fizz and energy.

‘Medway might not necessarily be the most exciting team in our league but they proved very efficient.

‘Every time we made a mistake they punished us.

‘They were very good at spotting gaps and exploiting them.

‘Though we launched another fightback, at the end of the game the players were more focused on the fact they still lost. They felt it was a game they were good enough to win.

‘It was frustrating because they know they could have done better.

‘They didn’t perform at the levels they know they can.

‘There was a lot left in the locker they didn’t show.’

After an even opening 10 minutes, Medway – with the stiff breeze behind them and playing down the slope – surged ahead.

Two penalties were quickly followed by three converted tries.

‘At that stage we were looking down the barrel of a heavy defeat,’ added Will Knight.

Havant, however, managed to stem the tide and hit back with a try of their own before half-time.

Second-row Harrison Young went over. Joel Knight added the extras.

‘We weren’t panicking because we knew we had the elements behind us in the second half,’ said Will Knight.

Medway added another try against the run of play at the start of the second half before Havant started to claw them back.

Scott Morris went the length of the field to score under the posts and, soon after, hooker Joe Milton scored from a driven line-out.

Both were converted by Joel Knight as the momentum switched to the visitors.

Rob Cuffe brought them even closer with another try in the final 10 minutes.

Despite a terrific final effort from Havant, Medway managed to hang on by the skin of their teeth.

‘In the final 10 minutes it was all us,’ said Will Knight.

‘We managed to come away with two points from the game but we were still very disappointed.

‘The important thing is we have to learn from this. We have to make sure we don’t repeat our mistakes against CS Rugby next up at Hooks Lane.’

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