Knight: Havant cannot afford to make same mistake again

Joe Davis. Picture: Mick Young
Joe Davis. Picture: Mick Young
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Havant go to Twickenham in London one south determined not to repeat the mistake they made last season when they suffered a surprise defeat

Senior coach Will Knight saw his team put in some good performances in the first half of the campaign but they lacked consistency.

We were in the same position and lost so we won’t be looking to make the same mistake

Will Knight

Because of this Havant start the new year in the lower half of the league and Knight believes the next few games are very important as they aim to push on up the table.

‘We had a good win over Twickenham at our place early in the season but their results have been improving,’ said Knight.

‘I will be reminding the players of what happened last season.

‘We were in the same position and lost so we won’t be looking to make the same mistake.

‘It is a game that we have to take very seriously.

‘Preparation hasn’t been easy because our pitches have been too wet for training.

‘The players have worked exceptionally hard in the club gym but that isn’t the same.

‘We have managed to secure the Havant College all-weather pitch for a run out the night before which will help.’

Knight’s biggest problem in the first half of the campaign was trying to field a consistent starting line-up because of injuries and unavailability.

He is forced to make eight changes again for the trip to south London, though a few are only positional.

In the front row, Jack Ward Golden replaces Justin Powell and Ross Parkin comes in for the injured Harrison Young in the second row.

Nial Copeland is unavailable so Luke Barfoot is drafted into the back row where Joe Davis and Steve Cruddas also return.

In the three-quarters, Joel Knight continues at outside half after a couple of impressive performances in that position.

Darren Bamford comes into the side and Havant are looking to make a bright start to the new year.

‘As a squad, we certainly feel our league position isn’t a true reflection of our ability,’ said Knight.

‘But the league table doesn’t lie and going forward we have to start imposing our style on opponents.

‘We need to dictate games like we did when we beat Medway just before the Christmas break.

‘It is vital after a couple of weeks without a game we pick up our rhythm quickly.’

Havant: Harry Carr, Scott Morris, Loz Blackburn, Darren Bamford, Ben Brierley, Joel Knight, Jake Hewitt, Luke Marks, Jerome Trail, Jack Ward Golden, Ross Parkin, Luke Barfoot, Joe Davis, Steve Cruddas, Gav Hart. Replacements: Armundus Morgan, Richie Jones, Grant Morris.