Will Knight was pleased to pick up a losing bonus point after reshuffling his Havant team against Sutton & Epsom on Saturday.
The Hooks Lane outfit’s 19-12 reverse was their third successive defeat in London one south and Knight admitted they struggled in the set-pieces.
‘We lost Steve Cruddas to flu the night before so had to reshuffle our line-out,’ said the head coach.
‘It meant we struggled to secure enough ball from the scrums and line-outs to trouble our opponents too much.
‘We also conceded two soft tries in the first half before having what we thought was a perfectly good try of our own disallowed in the second half.
‘Our second-half performance was better and we were then able to take the game to Sutton a bit more and earn a deserved bonus point.’
Sutton & Epsom rocked Havant with a first-minute try, which from the home side’s point of view was a disappointing one.
When the visitors chipped the ball ahead, indecision between the home winger and full-back proved costly. Soon afterwards Havant failed to field another box kick, allowing Sutton to establish a 12-0 lead at the interval.
The home side hit back with a good Niall Copeland try six minutes into the second half and then felt they were robbed of a score.
Second-row forward Harrison Young burst through to ground the ball near the posts but the referee, much to both teams’ amazement, disallowed the score.
The official claimed Young had run into him during the move and gained an advantage. Almost immediately, salt was rubbed into the home side’s wounds when the visitors were awarded a penalty try for a wheeling scrum close to the Havant line.
The home side hit back in the closing stages with a crash-ball try from Josh Blackburn, who was making his first appearance of the season.
‘It was pleasing in the first half – when Sutton had the lion’s share of possession – that we looked well-organised and strong in defence,’ added Knight.