Sevenoaks defeat will serve as extra motivation for Havant

HAVANT have revenge on their minds as they continue their London one south title bid against Sevenoaks at Hooks Lane (2pm).

By The Newsroom
Friday, 27th January 2017, 6:30 am
Tom Blackburn is back. Picture: Ian Hargreaves
Tom Blackburn is back. Picture: Ian Hargreaves

Will Knight’s side have only lost twice this season and one of those defeats was at the hands of the Kent side.

The hosts are keen to put the record straight and maintain their unbeaten home record this season.

Knight knows his team will need to keep their focus.

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‘Sevenoaks turned us over at their place so we know they will offer a threat,’ said Knight.

‘We were disappointed to lose that game.

‘They have a fairly strong pack and were a good efficient workmanlike side.

‘On the day we didn’t make the most of our opportunities but I think we have grown as a team since then.

‘Week by week the players are increasingly becoming aware of what they can achieve as a team.

‘They are working hard at training refining the patterns and shape of the team.

‘As coaches we are trying to provide a framework that allows the individuals to express themselves.

‘We are starting to see that and we have some players who are great at knocking down walls and others at sliding through defences.’

The home side make a few changes in the forwards with Tom Blackburn returning to the front row after injury.

Experienced Joe Davis returns at open side flanker with Mitch Goldring back in the second row.

Just one change is made in the three-quarters, Jake Reynolds taking over from Wayne Johns at scrum-half.

‘We are able to put a strong team out and are looking to build on our win over Tunbridge Wells,’ said Knight.

‘That was very pleasing with a number of key areas functioning well.

‘Not least our defence was superb with something like a 94 per cent tackle completion rate.

‘We need to bring that into this game.

‘It is likely to be sticky, muddy and messy but we still aim to go out and play our rugby.

‘We have the players capable of creating a platform that allows us to unleash our exciting set of backs.’

Havant are unbeaten since October and it has been a few years since Havant have had such a good run.

‘It is the culmination of five years hard work since dropping out of the National Leagues,’ said Knight.

‘We virtually had to start from scratch and it takes time.

‘Some of the lads then were only 19 years old and had progressed straight out of the Colts.

‘Now they are a bit older, more experienced and have developed a style of play that allows them to bring their own attributes.’

Havant: L. Blackburn, Morris, Brierley, Knight, Rudder, Sweeney, Reynolds, Morgan, Trail, T. Blackburn, Goldring, Janes, Bellman, Davis, Hart. Replacements: Biggs, Neil, Read