Globetrotters return to help Havant take flight

James Read. Picture: Ian Hargreaves  (13547-7)
James Read. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (13547-7)
Scott Morris. Picture: Chris Moorhouse

Havant chief rues missed opportunity

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Havant are hoping the return of two globetrotters can inspire them to an important London one south win over Dover at Hooks Lane.

Three-quarter James Read is back from a stint of league rugby in America and wing-forward Jarrad Hayler is back from South Africa.

Nineteen-year-old Hayler returns after a spell working with one of the Super-12 Academy programmes.

‘It is a big boost to have them back in our ranks and I expect both to make an impact,’ said coach Will Knight.

‘James is a very good footballer who reads the game well and is an elusive runner.

‘He also possesses a big boot which can regularly get the team on the front foot.

‘Jarrad is an exciting prospect who has come through our junior ranks.

‘After continuing his rugby education in South Africa I am sure he has come back an even better player.’

Third-bottom Havant need to start winning more games if they are to avoid a relegation battle.

They showed themselves capable of beating a top side at home in their 23-22 success over third-placed Brighton.

Knight is targeting another win against their mid-table visitors but knows a big improvement is needed after their poor showing at Hove last time out.

Dover will present them with a big test of temperament with their big abrasive but well-organised style of rugby.

Havant must be prepared to stand up to them, while maintaining their discipline at the same time.

‘It is important we go out and play our own game,’ said Knight.

‘We have shown in almost all our games so far that we are competitive and at times have played some excellent rugby.

‘However there have also been times when we have fallen asleep and allowed opponents to either get back into the game or get on top.

‘That is what we are looking to cut out of our game because we can’t afford to do it.

‘When we are playing our rugby on the front foot we can be a handful for anybody.’

Havant head into the weekend four points behind Hove and six points adrift of Beckenham.

They are in a position where they have to start winning.

Knight admits picking up as many points as they can between now and Christmas is the priority.

He said: ‘That is the reality of the situation we find ourselves in right now.

‘At the end of the season it matters little if we have played well if we fail to win games.

‘I think we have an exciting squad of players but they will agree they let themselves down in their last game.

‘They will want to make up for that and get the performance right this time.’