Defensive display the ‘bedrock’ behind Havant’s win over Thurrock
A superb defensive performance helped Havant get back on track with a 27-12 London one south win against Thurrock.
The Hooks Lane outfit’s resolve, coupled with some incisive finishing, proved enough them with the extra edge in a closely-fought contest.
Will Knight was pleased with his side’s response following their derby defeat against Chichester.
The senior coach said: ‘We were all disappointed to lose against Chichester..
‘This, however, was a good win against tough opponents. It was exactly the response and reaction we wanted.
‘At one stage, we only had 13 players on the pitch because of two yellow cards.
‘Despite this we stopped them scoring during that period and remained very solid.
‘The players showed a great intensity and willingness to put their bodies on the line to keep them out.
‘They produced the level of physicality that we expect from them.
‘This defensive performance was the bedrock of our success.
‘Then when our opportunities came along we took them.’
Both teams went at each other hammer and tongs from the start.
It took until the 22nd minute before the scoreboard moved, though.
With the wind behind them, it was the Essex side that struck first with a converted try.
Havant hit back to level the scores five minutes later.
Ben Brierley made a terrific break from inside his own half and produced an equally-impressive back-of-the-hand offload.
It found Ben Chambers who sprinted in for a try – which Gareth Davies converted.
The home side went in front five minutes before half-time with a converted Scott Morris try.
This followed powerful approach work from hooker Jerome Trail.
Tristan Trehan linked up with Jake Hewitt after the interval to put the captain and scrum half in for a try.
At this point, Havant suffered two yellow cards in quick succession but continued to show great defensive resilience.
Morris even registered his second try of the game.
Davies added a penalty and all Thurrock could manage was a try 10 minutes from the end.
Knight added: ‘It is an important five points because all the teams around us won.
‘There were some big individual performances out there.
‘It made up in some ways for the poor performance in our last game.
‘If we can continue to build and maintain our standards then we can trouble any team in our league. This win will lift us again.
‘We don't have a game next weekend and that will give us a little breather before some more tough games ahead.'