Knight keen to boost top-five ambitions

Sam Cooksley
Sam Cooksley
Dylan Raubenheimer. Picture: Ian Hargreaves

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Havant coach Will Knight wants his side to maintain their top-five ambitions in London one south with a win at Brighton tomorrow.

Knight believes his club are set up nicely for an assault on the leading sides in the second half of the season.

The Hooks Lane outfit narrowly lost the first encounter against their south coast neighbours early in the season and are determined to turn the tables.

‘Both clubs are on the same number of points but they are just above us on points difference,’ said Knight.

‘We have improved since losing to them at the start of the season but it is going to be a tough encounter.

‘There is always an added spice to the Brighton games because, over the years, players have moved between the two clubs.

‘Over the last couple of seasons they have held the advantage but it is time to try to change that.

‘It was pleasing for us to get back to winning ways against Gosport before the break and we must look to build on that.

‘In that game we kept our heads, stuck to our game plan, nullified their strengths and played the game on our terms.

‘We must look to do the same at Brighton.’

The Sussex side possess a big, powerful pack and it will be another game where Havant will want to avoid getting involved in a physical battle up front.

The visitors will plan to win enough ball to release their dangerous three-quarters, who can be a handful for any opponents in the division.

Knight is boosted by the continued availability of Jared Hayler in the forwards department.

His presence will give them added aggression and physicality at the breakdowns.

And his abrasive edge could prove influential in the contest up front.

‘Jared did remarkably well in his first game back for us against Gosport,’ said Knight.

‘It was remarkable considering he hadn’t played any rugby for nearly 18 months.

‘I will be expecting him to carry on where he left off in the last game.’

There is a possibility that front-row forward Sam Cooksley may return to the squad.

In the Hampshire Plate, last season’s finalists Fareham Heathens cross the Solent to take on the Isle of Wight.