Havant told to stand strong as they tackle Hove

Anthony Fooks. Picture: Neil Marshall (171124-346)

Pearce: Best is yet to come from Portsmouth

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Havant head coach Will Knight is stressing the need for disciplined tackling ahead of their visit to Hove in London one south tomorrow.

The Hooks Lane club are still searching for their first win of the campaign.

It was missed first-up tackles that cost them last weekend, allowing Charlton Park to force a 31-31 draw at Hooks Lane.

Knight believes his men will soon get that first win if they can improve in that area.

‘I like to think that we can chalk up a first win at Hove,’ said the head coach.

‘We have played some good rugby in our last two games without delivering the win.

‘Luck went against us last week when one of our kicks bounced out off the crossbar.

‘Hove is never an easy place to go to but last week’s result makes it even more crucial we get a result of some kind.

‘Adding to the difficulty is the fact they are having problems with their first-team pitch.

‘That means we will have to play on one of their minor pitches so we don’t know what conditions will be like.

‘We have prepared the players for that, though, and they may have to adapt quickly to what we find.

‘They know that they have to get on with the job in hand.’

Pete Living comes in at full-back for only his second start of the season.

His inclusion means Pat Gains moves to the wing.

In the front-row, prop forward Jeff Smith makes his first start of the campaign.

Joel Knight is hoping for a return to form with his kicking boots.

The normally reliable kicker wasn’t his usual accurate self in the last game, though none of the missed kicks were easy.

Havant can take great heart from recent performances and the feeling is the team is improving all the time.

They gave leaders Sidcup a big scare recently.

In the end they lost by a single point in controversial circumstances with the home side unable to field a front-row replacement in the second half.

But the grit and determination they showed should stand them in good stead.

Havant: Living, Ray, O’Brien, J Knight, 
Gains, Sweeney, Reynolds; Marks, Cooksley, 
Smith, Munden, Neil, Brooks, Cruddas, 
Warren-West. Replacements: Ward-Golden, Young, Morris