Second-half super show lifts Havant

Ben Brierley. Picture: Allan Hutchings (132520-477)
Ben Brierley. Picture: Allan Hutchings (132520-477)
Luke Barfoot will make his 100th league appearance. Picture: Neil Marshall

Havant hope normal service will resume at home

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Havant produced a stirring second-half performance to secure a precious 26-5 London one south win over Hove at Hooks Lane.

The home side trailed 5-0 at the interval but picked up the pace in the second half.

They crossed for four tries to wrap up victory and almost certainly secure their place in the division for next season.

‘This win should make us safe and it will need a disaster to put us back in trouble,’ said coach Will Knight.

‘Hove were a tough nut to crack.

‘But we did what we needed to in the second half to change the game around.

‘Most pleasing was the way we were able to quickly convert defence into attack.

‘Our final two tries came after Hove were pressing but their attacks broke down and we raced up the other end.’

In a competitive first half, Havant’s ball-retention left a bit to be desired and their set-piece play was a little sloppy.

Hove gained the upper hand in the scrummage and scored the only try of the half.

It was a different story in the second half as the home side seized the initiative and created more space for the three-quarters to exploit.

Captain Joel Knight strongly handed off his defender to level the scores with a well-taken try as Havant kicked on.

Winger Loz Blackburn then finished well after being set up by Loz Warren West, before the powerful Ben Brierley set up a third try.

A crunching Brierley tackle in midfield allowed Havant to burst upfield with Ed Wilkes finishing off the move with a 50-yard run.

Josh Blackburn then went almost the length of the field for Havant’s fourth bonus-point try.

‘We were able to stretch Hove as they tired,’ said Knight.

‘In the second half we built a much better platform for our three quarters and played with a lot more shape.

‘Our better organisation meant we could make the most of our turn-over ball.

‘The fact we have nearly guaranteed our safety with five games still to go is a reflection of the effort and hard work put in.

‘It means we can start to build towards next season.’