Derby mission accomplished for Havant

Will Knight saluted Havant's focus as they avoided slip-ups to complete a 36-0 victory over struggling Gosport & Fareham at Gosport Park.

Monday, 9th January 2017, 8:00 am
Updated Monday, 9th January 2017, 1:03 pm
Jerome Rudder. Picture: Mick Young

The London one south title-chasers were never seriously threatened – but had to work hard during a typically hard-fought derby.

Head coach Knight felt it was a job well done in the end as his side secured a bonus-point win.

‘All credit to Gosport because they did what we expected them to do,’ said the Hooks Lane chief.

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‘They came at us at the start and were competitive – doing everything to disrupt and slow the game down.

‘Despite this we still found a way to score five tries, which was pleasing.

‘There was never any time when I felt we could lose the game.

‘We always possessed too much for that to happen.

‘Our defensive organisation was solid and we scored our tries in a variety of ways.

‘Gosport found it difficult to get beyond the gain line.

‘But we were forced to work hard at times in a very scrappy affair.’

The first half was fought out in typical derby fashion – tight and tense with both teams going at each other hammer and tongs.

When Havant finally got the breakthrough it was mainly through their aggressive defence.

Gosport & Fareham were in possession but Jerome Rudder made an interception and ran in under the posts from the halfway line.

Joel Knight added the conversion and kicked a penalty to give Havant a 10-0 lead at the halfway stage.

In the second half, Havant began to take charge – putting Gosport under a lot of pressure.

They made it pay when hooker Jerome Trail powered his way over from close range – with Joel Knight again adding the extra points.

Full-back Darren Bamford stretched the lead before Havant made sure of the bonus point.

In another power-play, centre Ben Brierley smashed his way over.

Havant put the icing on the cake towards the end with the best try of the match.

Gaining possession inside their own half, the visitors moved the ball across the pitch from one side to the other.

Quick ruck ball ended with Rudder going around the outside for a classic winger’s try.

‘The bonus point was important to keep the pressure on leaders Sidcup,’ added Will Knight.

Havant host third-placed Tunbridge Wells at Hooks Lane on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Gosport – still without a win this season – will be able to take great heart from their performance.

It is sure to give them a welcome boost ahead of a difficult second half of the season.

They accept relegation is almost certain but are determined to build for the future.