Havant too strong for Brighton in game of two halves

Joel Knight helped Havant continue their strong start to the season
Joel Knight helped Havant continue their strong start to the season
Ben Brierley

Havant determined to bounce back

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IMPRESSIVE Havant showed two facets to their game as they recorded a superb 27-0 win at Brighton in London one south.

Will Knight’s team took advantage of having the tough wind and rain behind them in the first half.

They scored three tries and could have had more as they opened up a 27-point lead.

In the second half the wind and rain worsened, as Brighton kept Havant pinned back.

But a powerful, committed and determined defensive effort ensured the away side didn’t concede a single point despite being under serious pressure.

The victory was all the sweeter for Havant who crashed to a heavy defeat at Brighton in the early stages of last season.

Knight said: ‘It was a very pleasing performance and a good result.

‘Last time out there down there we were given a bit of a stuffing at the beginning of last season.

‘So it was nice to go there and get a good result.

‘To use the old cliché, it really was a bit of a game of two halves.

‘The weather really swept in during the game.

‘In the first half we had the conditions behind us and we put 27 points on them.

‘We had all the possession and territory, we scored three tries and we looked very dangerous with the ball in the hand.

‘Then we held out with a fantastic defensive showing.’

It was dry when Havant arrived in Brighton but the weather soon turned for the worse.

The visitors went ahead with a penalty before they got the first try through Richie Janes.

Will Knight added: ‘It was 15 minutes into the match and Joel Knight made a good break from inside centre.

‘Joe Davis was tackled just short but he managed to pop the ball up to Richie Janes and he a scored a try, converted by Joel.’

That score put Havant 10-0 up and in command of the contest.

Debutant winger Jerome Rudder then crossed the line for an excellent try to crown his big day in style.

Joel Knight again converted and soon after a second penalty meant Havant had extended their advantage to 20-0.

Then 33 minutes into the match Havant’s Dave Sweeney got the third try when he scored under the posts and Joel Knight added the conversion.

That ensured the visitors were in command of the contest.

Will Knight added: ‘Jerome Rudder scored a good try on his first-team debut after coming through from our youth system.

‘Our third try was a nice set-piece move we have practiced.

‘Dave Sweeney found a gap and sprinted away to score under the posts.’

Meanwhile, Gosport were beaten 55-5 at home to Tottonians.

But coach Barry Bridgeman was encouraged by an improved display.

Havant and Gosport will do battle on Saturday.