Havant RFC ‘planting trees’ for the future with Hampshire Cup success against Jersey Reds

Havant RFC remain on course to regain their Hampshire crown after beating Jersey Reds Athletic in the semi-final of the Hampshire Challenge Cup at Hooks Lane.

Sunday, 9th February 2020, 3:36 pm
Updated Sunday, 9th February 2020, 4:12 pm
Havant v Jersey Reds Athletic. Picture Ian Hargreaves

Will Knight's side lost in the semi-finals last season against Tottonians but are determined to lift the silverware this time.

The home side fielded a much-changed team but the newcomers stepped up to the late.

Knight felt the performance emphasised the strength in depth at the club.

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Havant v Jersey Reds Athletic. Picture Ian Hargreaves

'For us it was all about planting trees for the future, both in playing and coaching,' he explained.

'Only six of the squad remained from last week's league game.

'Also Lewis Osborne, one of our assistant coaches, took charge of the team for the day.

'It was really pleasing to see everyone step up and take their opportunity.

Havant v Jersey Reds Athletic. Picture Ian Hargreaves

'They showed what they can do and it augurs well going forward.'

In an entertaining affair in front of a large crowd, it was the Channel Island side that made the early running.

When Simon Morgan kicked Havant ahead with a penalty, it was against the run of play.

Jersey then hit the home side with two quickfire tries; one from a pick and go and another after a home attack broke down.

Havant v Jersey Reds Athletic. Picture Ian Hargreaves

'At 10-3 down we were looking slightly concerned,' said Knight.

The home side, however, settled things down through a Wes Dugan try from a quick tap-penalty.

Morgan added another penalty but a further try for the visitors saw them leading 15-11 at half-time.

Havant regained the initiative at the start of the second period with a spell of powerful play.

Havant v Jersey Reds Athletic. Picture Ian Hargreaves

Morgan reduced the deficit with a penalty before Wayne Dugan put them ahead, scoring from the base of a ruck.

Within five minutes Havant stretched their lead with a good individual try by Rory Penfold.

The visitors refused to be shaken off and got back to within four points with a catch and drive line-out try.

In the final seconds James Wise sealed the win with a final try.

'It was a really positive afternoon at the club,' said Knight.

'We got the chance to have a look at a number of players who have been performing well in the second team.

Havant v Jersey Reds Athletic. Picture Ian Hargreaves

'It was nice to see a number of players making their senior debut.

'For us it was a great result against a team who regularly play against the second strings of National One teams.

'They have beaten some good teams already this season.’