King determined to reign over North Walsham

Havants Penioni Tagituimua. Picture: Kate Shemilt

Cuffe dismissed as Havant suffer first defeat

Havant aim to launch the second half of their campaign with a vital win over lowly visitors North Walsham at Hooks Lane tomorrow.

Three-successive wins before the Christmas break boosted Havant's ambitions of maintaining their status in National League Three London & south east.

But director of rugby Adam King views a win over North Walsham as crucial if they are to remain free from a relegation dogfight.

'This is a key game and it is essential we keep our momentum going,' said King.

'If we can pick up a fourth-consecutive success, then it will enable us to stretch the distance between ourselves and the basement dwellers.

'Our good run of results before the break has improved our chances of survival but in no shape or form are we clear of trouble.

'We have got where we are despite having to cope without some of our key players.

'Sheer doggedness and hard work have been the key to it and we must continue to display those qualities.

'Our younger players have been thrown in quicker than we might normally anticipate but they are gradually gaining experience and developing.'

Havant are again without a number of key figures tomorrow.

Graeme Frith (knee), Richie Stenhouse (Achilles), Chris Brember (hamstring), Liam Davenport (shoulder) and Luke Marks (collar bone) are all ruled out by injury.

The experienced figure of Graeme Butterworth is also unavailable.

Experienced prop forward Al Davenport returns, while in the backs Gavin Hart remains in the centre alongside UWIC student Joel Knight.

Jaryd Robinson, who made a big impact as a replacement in the victory over Diss, retains his place on the wing.

Although they are notoriously poor travellers, North Walsham will present a threat because of their situation at the bottom.

'They will arrive here fighting for their lives,' said King.

'It is a pivotal game and if we win, it would propel us well into the top half of the league.

'We have given ourselves a good building block for survival. It is important that we add to that this weekend.'