No fear for Knight’s troops in derby battle

Havant coach Will Knight. Picture: Mick Young

Havant coach Will Knight. Picture: Mick Young

Liam Williams sets off from his own 22 to lay on Sean O'Brien's try during the first test of the 2017 British & Irish Lions tour at Eden Park, Auckland

Former Lions forward insists it’s time to get physical

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Will Knight warmed up for Havant’s derby clash against Chichester tomorrow and insisted: We have nothing to fear.

But as the Hooks Lane head coach prepares to send his side into London one south battle with their high-flying neighbours, he admits there are bigger games to come.

Havant are currently in the relegation zone – despite a 52-21 victory at bottom club Staines last weekend.

Meanwhile hosts Chichester sit in second after a 24-22 home defeat to Wimbledon.

However, Knight reckons tomorrow’s opponents will shrug off that setback as they continue their bid for the title – and promotion.

And that means his Havant team will have to be at their very best to get anything from the game.

The head coach recognises that fact but, while he believes his squad are capable of springing a shock at Oaklands Park, he has one eye on the showdowns with his team’s relegation rivals when the competition resumes in the new year.

He said: ‘Winning is a habit for them and they won’t lose that habit because of last weekend’s setback.

‘They are a confident side but we approach every game with the attitude that we can get a result

‘We showed on Saturday if we get the basics right we can put teams to bed.

‘If our forwards show some parity, our backs can do some damage and we’re definitely in with a shout.

‘It would be nice to win and get out of the relegation zone before Christmas but it is not crucial.

‘If you look at the league, a win at Chichester would be seen as a bonus but there are games in the new year we will target.

‘The important thing for us is to keep focusing on our performances because then the results will come.’

Despite sitting third from bottom, Havant have a points difference of just minus two.

That was helped by the 31-point victory against Staines.

And Knight said he was pleased with a clinical performance after they allowed Haywards Heath back into the game to draw two weeks earlier.

He added: ‘It was a good performance against Staines, so we were very pleased.

‘It was one of those games we had to win to drag ourselves away from where we are.

‘It was clinical at times but Staines were no pushover.

‘They are a powerful side, so it was pleasing we managed to keep our focus and pull away at the end.

‘There was a different focus going into the game.

‘The players realised how important it is to make sure you beat the teams around you.

‘We let one slip against Haywards Heath, so that was in the back of their minds.

‘But we had a good focus, a good start and got the job done very well.”

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