Havant show they are building confidence

Action from Hooks Lane on Saturday. Picture: Mick Young 133407-13
Action from Hooks Lane on Saturday. Picture: Mick Young 133407-13
England's Vickil Cornborough is tackled by Scotland's Karen Dunbar during the Women's Six Nations match at Broadwood Stadium, Cumbernauld. PPP-171108-170224001

Cornborough helps England notch first victory

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Havant recorded a crucial 35-17 London one south win over Beckenham at Hooks Lane.

The deserved bonus-point victory maintained the team’s winning start to 2014 and moved them closer to mid-table security.

They are now 10 points ahead of Beckenham, who currently occupy the third relegation berth.

Head coach Will Knight was pleased with the result which was gained in difficult conditions but knows his team can play better.

‘It wasn’t pretty at times but ultimately the important thing was to make sure of the win,’ said Knight.

‘We scored some good tries, though, and put some excellent phases of play together.

‘At times in the conditions, we were guilty of trying to play too much rugby too early before earning the right to go wide.

‘That was something we addressed at half-time and in the second half our forwards were offering themselves a little more at the base of the rucks and mauls.

‘That gave us a bit more space out wide to exploit and once we did that our quality of finishing told.

‘It was another good performance from our forwards who dominated Beckenham in the set-pieces.’

After falling behind to an early penalty, Havant took charge of the contest.

Tries from second row Bruce Neil and powerhouse winger Ben Brierley – along with a Joel Knight conversion looked like setting the home side on their way to an easy win.

But Havant were guilty of some careless play and weak tackling allowed Beckenham to pull the scores back to 12-10 at the break.

The hosts regrouped at half-time to re-establish their superiority.

Tries from the Blackburn brothers, Loz and Josh, who both played on the wing, stretched Havant’s lead to 28-10 – ensuring a vital bonus point.

Beckenham grabbed an interception try near the end.

But Havant prop forward Luke Marks went over under the posts to spark home celebrations.

Knight was pleased with the way his men regrouped and performed in the second half.

He said: ‘The half-time scoreline didn’t reflect the events on the pitch.

‘We showed in the second half that we are developing a lot more maturity and cohesiveness in the team.

‘There is a confidence to put things right during a game.

‘The tactical decision makers in the side are putting their hands up and showing their leadership qualities.’

Knight feels his men are on the up.

He added: ‘We know that there is still a lot of hard work to be done.

But the signs are that we are turning the corner.

‘A lot of effort has been put in on the training ground and it is starting to pay off.’

Havant: O’Brien, Brierley, Read, J. Knight, L. Blackburn, Sweeney, Morris; Marks, Cooksley, Ward-Golden, Neil, Anchor, Goodger, Hayler, O’Gorman. Replacements: Powell, Warren-West, J. Blackburn