Knight wants National League return after Havant suffer drop

Will Knight
Will Knight
Luke Barfoot will make his 100th league appearance. Picture: Neil Marshall

Havant hope normal service will resume at home

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Havant were relegated from the National League after a 38-30 defeat at Luton.

It was a thrilling contest with 10 tries shared between the sides.

And though defeat cut off any hopes of the great escape for the Hooks Lane outfit, director of rugby Will Knight is looking ahead to a bright future.

The visitors scored four good tries.

Each time, though, poor work after the restarts allowed Luton back into the contest.

‘It was a valiant effort but silly mistakes let us down,’ said Knight.

‘Every time we looked like grabbing the ascendancy we let them off the hook.

‘If we are honest from the beginning of the season, we knew that it was going to be a struggle.

‘We were forced to rebuild after a number of players decided to leave the club at the last minute.

‘Relegation has been inevitable for a while and in a way it is a relief that it has happened.

‘What has been impressive is the commitment and resilience of the players to stick with it.

‘We now have the basis to move forward next season at a lower but equally competitive level.

‘The aim is to regain our National League status as quickly as possible.’

An early Jake Reynolds penalty and a Jarryd Robinson interception try saw Havant establish an early 10-7 lead.

Luton hit back to lead 21-10 but, in a topsy-turvy affair, Robinson again showed his class by fielding a ball inside his own half and beating the home defence for his second try.

But Havant again relaxed and, though Reynolds kicked another penalty, trailed 33-18 at the break.

The visitors came out all guns blazing at the start of the second half.

Tries from Tom Southall and Steve Stapleton dragged Havant back to within three points of their hosts.

Robinson, though, was yellow carded for a high tackle and Luton made the pressure count with a late score to condemn the visitors to the drop.