No time for leaders Havant to 'slip-up' when they welcome bottom side Dartfordians

Table-toppers Havant entertain bottom side Dartfordians at Hooks Lane on Saturday in London One South (3pm).

Thursday, 30th January 2020, 12:57 pm
Updated Thursday, 30th January 2020, 2:36 pm
Rory Penfold. Picture: Vernon Nash (141219-015)

The home side will start as overwhelming favourites against the Kent team who have conceded the most points (610) and won just twice all season.

Havant possess the most potent attack force, averaging more than 35 points per game from their 18 matches.

On paper, it looks a straightforward contest for Will Knight's team who returned to the top with an excellent win at Medway.

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But the Havant head coach insisted there can be no complacency in the camp.

‘We have been around long enough to know that you can easily get bitten in the backside in this league,’ said Knight.

‘If you start taking anything for granted then it is easy to come unstuck.

‘This is not the time to slip-up.

‘Having got ourselves where we are, what we don't want to do is throw it away.

‘All we are looking at is at producing a performance and if we do that then the result should take care of itself.

‘Our players have been very single-minded since returning from the Christmas break.

‘They set themselves targets which are quite ambitious and they use these as motivation.’

Havant will make few changes from the side that did so well at Medway.

The forwards remain the same, but there are two changes in the three-quarters.

Jake Hewitt starts at scrum-half and Rory Penfold replaces Ben Chambers at full-back.

Havant have been named RFU Grassroots level six team of the month for January after winning all four games.

Knight believes one of the key factors in their success is the greater squad depth.

‘Being able to rotate players is working for us,’ said Knight.

‘It is the depth in our squad that allows us to do this.

‘We are able to do this more in some positions than others.

‘For example, our back three across first and second teams is incredibly strong.

‘Rotating players means that we can keep them fresh as we head towards the end of the season.

‘It also allows us to expose more players to first-team rugby.’

Knight accepts it will be a major disappointment if his side fail to consolidate their position at the top with a bonus-point win.

Havant hold a three-point lead over Westcombe Park and the Kent side, along with third-placed Camberley, both still have to visit Hooks Lane.