'Intensity' drop proves costly as Havant's perfect London & SE Premier start comes to an end at Sevenoaks

Havant head coach Will Knight admitted his side must quickly make improvements after suffering their first London & SE Premier defeat of the season.

Monday, 27th September 2021, 2:28 pm
Havant head coach Will Knight. Picture: Keith Woodland (070821-1)

After a flying start to the season, which had seen Havant win their opening three matches, they were on the end of a 22-7 loss on the road at Sevenoaks.

It was the first setback for Knight and his troops since winning promotion to this level after the 2019-20 season.

The Havant head coach had no complaints with the defeat, citing Sevenoaks’ superior quality on the day and a drop in 'intensity' from his team as key factors behind the result.

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But Knight did take positives from his players' willingness to quickly brush off the opening loss of the season and focus on where they can improve so they ensure standards to not slip again.

The Havant head coach said: ‘It was a combination of a good performance by Sevenoaks, I thought they played very well, they were aggressive in defence, took their opportunities when they came so credit to them.

‘We certainly weren’t as intense and on it as we have been in the first three games. I think, if anything, what we said to the players afterwards was it showed if they don’t turn up on your A-game then the likelihood in this league is you’ll get turned over.

‘The positive about Saturday’s performance was we very quickly moved from being disappointed with the result, obviously, to what we need to change and what we need to do differently for next week.’

It was Sevenoaks who went in 9-0 ahead at the interval thanks to three successful penalties from Ben Adams.

The hosts would run in two tries after the restart with Adams firing over his fourth penalty to open up a 22-0 advantage.

Sevenoaks had long put the game beyond Havant when Cameron Smith's converted try at least got the visitors on the scoreboard.

Knight felt there were a number of factors which contributed to a drop-off in level from his side, but admitted there must be a marked improvement with third-placed visiting Hooks Lane this weekend.

He added: ‘It can be down to a number of factors (drop off in level). We were travelling away, there’s a definite difference for us playing at home and away, there’s no doubt about that. We’ve got to work at that and we’ve got to be better than that.

‘The other thing was we were a little bit disjointed in the morning, a lot of players travelled independently to the ground, it’s not an excuse - just a factor.

‘In the warm-up it wasn’t quite as slick and as precise and as it has been in the first three games.

‘We will need to improve because we’re coming into a run of games where we’re playing the top three teams who are now in the top three positions. It’s going to be challenging.’