Havant wary of Heath threat

Havant's Loz Blackburn is stopped in his tracks on the right wing during last weekend's win over Dover
Havant's Loz Blackburn is stopped in his tracks on the right wing during last weekend's win over Dover
Southsea Nomads made progress. Picture: Neil Marshall

Heathens suffer disappointment... Nomads progress

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HAVANT director of rugby Rob Matthews is taking nothing for granted against winless Haywards Heath this weekend – and has challenged his side to turn in a full 80-minute performance.

The Hooks Lane outfit travel to their SSE London one south opponents tomorrow buoyed by their recent 27-0 home victory over Dover.

The result, their fourth win of the season to date, leaves them third from bottom in the league table and 15 points above Heath – the only side in the league yet to register a win.

But while confidence is high after two victories out of three this month, including an away victory over high-flying Brighton, Matthews insists there is still room for improvement.

‘We should be looking to win. With the performance we showed last week against Dover, there’s no reason not to,’ said Matthews.

‘I was very pleased with our performance. We showed greater endeavour and discipline and came out worthy winners.

‘We have played Haywards Heath a number of times over the last few years.

‘All teams tend to play well at home but they play their pitch particularly well.

‘They have been competitive in a lot of their fixtures and they will not be a push-over, despite being down at the bottom of the table.

‘But we have shown over the last few weeks we can play good rugby – it’s just about putting it together for the whole 80 minutes.

‘When we beat Brighton, we probably only played at our best for between 60-70 minutes but managed to get the victory.

‘The challenge is putting it all together – the entire game and getting that perfection – but we are working towards it.’

After the weekend, there are just three games remaining before clubs take their break for over festive period.

The second of those comes against rock-bottom Staines, before Havant then host current league leaders Chichester.

But buoyed by their showing against Brighton, Matthews is eyeing a maximum return come the end of the year.

‘If you look at the league at the minute, anyone can beat anyone,’ said Matthews.

‘The aim is to get 10 wins on the board as fast as we can.

‘The league is really quite bunched up at the minute, a couple of wins and you can seriously move up the table.

‘We’ve got some huge games coming up over the next few weeks, but if we can be in a good position by Christmas, that’s our target.’

n SSE, proud sponsor of the National and Divisional Leagues, has £10,000 of SSE Energy Credits available for clubs to win. To find out how go to SSERugby.com

– PIPPA FIELD