'Ridiculous' squad strength shows as Havant Rugby Club's three senior sides make perfect starts to 2022

Head coach Will Knight reckons the 'ridiculous' squad strength among the three senior squads Havant Rugby Club sent out for action this weekend was among the best in his decade spent in his current position.

Jerome Trail was a double try scorer in Havant's win at Sutton & Epsom. Picture: Vernon Nash (040120-049)
Jerome Trail was a double try scorer in Havant's win at Sutton & Epsom. Picture: Vernon Nash (040120-049)

And that was evident in the club's latest round of results with Havant' s first-team, Dolphins 2nd XV and third side all claiming victories.

Knight oversaw Havant's 29-8 London & SE Premier win at Sutton & Epsom as they returned to action after a 32-day festive break to secure a bonus-point triumph.

While high-flying Hampshire Premier table-toppers the Dolphins made it 12 wins from 12, thumping Millbrook 79-0, and the club's third team were 24-22 Hampshire 2 victors at Andover 2nds.

Havant head coach Will Knight. Picture: Keith Woodland (070821-1)

And Knight believes such was the strength of the Dolphins' backline this weekend that they could have easily competed at London & SE Premier standard – where the club's first-team are operating this season.

Knight beamed: ‘We trained really well last week and you could sort of sense it was coming. The strength of the available players was ridiculous, it was really strong, it’s probably - in my time as coach - probably the strongest three teams we’ve been able to put out.

‘You look at the squad, certainly the second team, the second team played in Hampshire Premier and won 79-0 so that gives you an indication of how strong they are.

‘I said to the backs on Thursday night (at training), if we were lining up as a first-team against that backline (the second team’s), I confidently predicted it would be one of the strongest, if not the strongest, we played against this season at London Premier level.

‘Every single player across the Dolphins’ backline had the capability to play first-team rugby. It’s what we’re striving for, if we can get to a position where every position is as competitive as it was this week, then you get performance because players know they have to perform week-in, week-out otherwise someone else is going to get the opportunity.’

Havant’s first-team needed no time to blow off the proverbial cobwebs following a prolonged period without a fixture over the festive period.

They raced into a 19-3 half-time advantage at Sutton & Epsom as Harry Carr, Jerome Trail and Reuben Knight all scored tries to put the visitors in a commanding position at the interval.

Sutton scored the first points of the second half, with an unconverted try pulling the score back to 19-8 with a little more than 10 minutes remaining.

But tries from Trail, his second of the afternoon, and Jake Hewett in the closing stages ensured Havant came away with a bonus-point 29-8 triumph.