Havant get the job done in thriller
HAVANT maintained their unbeaten home record in London one south with 31-30 win over CS Rugby 1663 at Hooks Lane.
With time up on the clock the visitors were gifted a chance to win it with a penalty just inside the Havant half.
Fortunately for Will Knight’s side the kick fell just short and the ball was cleared to touch to end the game with a home success.
‘It was a great game of rugby and highly entertaining for the impartial observer,’ said Knight.
‘For the coaching staff it was nail-biting to say the least.
‘You had two good teams out there going at each other and we had to dig deep to come away with the win.
‘At this stage of the season that is all that matters.
‘In the end we produced a strong enough defensive performance to keep out one of the best back lines we have come up against.
‘We put in a really good first-half performance against the elements in the first half.
‘That put us in the driving seat but after the break they came at us with everything but we just had enough.’
After the two teams swapped early penalties, Joel Knight opened the scoring for the hosts with a try.
The home forwards drove hard into the right hand corner and when the ball was quickly moved across full-back Loz Blackburn found the gap to go over.
Winger Jerome Rudder added a second soon after with Knight adding the conversion.
Knight extended the lead to 18-3 with a well-taken drop goal as the hosts looked comfortable.
CS hit back with two tries in quick succession before Havant re-established their superiority.
Knight kicked another penalty and then converted a Wayne John try to give Havant a 28-15 lead at the break.
The visitors came out strong at the start of the second period reducing the deficit to 28-23 through a penalty and a try.
Another Knight penalty gave Havant some breathing space as the game began to get a little feisty.
CS set up a tense finale with a converted try with 80 minutes up on the clock.
Havant still had to endure another five minutes of stoppage-time before surviving the late drama.
The win took on even greater significance when news came through that Tunbridge Wells had suffered a shock home defeat at the hands of Brighton.
It means Havant hold a six-point advantage over their play-off rivals with three games left to play.
‘Not a lot has changed except we maybe have a little bit more wriggle room than before,’ said Knight.
‘Tunbridge still have the easier run in on paper.
‘We have another tough game at Cobham next week.
‘It looks like going down to the wire.’