Havant get big win after ‘lacklustre’ start

Loz Blackburn
Loz Blackburn
Reuben Knight finds space to run in one of Havant's nine tries. Picture: Neil Marshall (180422-190)

Knight: We’ll be back

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Havant needed a powerful second-half performance to secure a 57-17 win over basement-side Haywards Heath at Hooks Lane.

The home side trailed twice in the first half.

But they hit back to lead 14-10 at the interval.

In the second half, Havant added seven tries to settle the London one south clash.

Coach Will Knight revealed he made his feelings well known to the team at half-time.

He said: ‘I think everyone in the stand, above our changing rooms, could hear my team talk at half-time,’ said coach Will Knight.

‘Our first half was very lacklustre and we looked asleep.

‘It took us probably the best part of half an hour to start getting our act together.

‘When we went down to 13 men, after two yellow cards, it seemed to fire us up.’

Haywards Heath rocked their hosts with an early try.

It took until the half-hour mark before Havant hit back through a converted Joel Knight try.

The Sussex side then regained the lead.

But just before half-time Dave Sweeney claimed a try.

Within three minutes of the second half, Joel Knight grabbed his second try and after that the visitors resistance fell away.

Debut-making academy winger Jay Wilkes scored a great try for Havant.

He sliced through at the end of a good move.

Josh Blackburn added two tries and Loz Blackburn, Nial Copeland and Luke Marks also crossed.

Loz showed what a good finisher he is, beating the defence with a run from just inside his own half.

‘We finally put on the after burners in the second half,’ said Knight.

‘Before the game we had said “if we want to be in contention at the top end next season, it is teams like Haywards Heath we have to put away.”

‘That has been the difference at times this season between us and the top teams.

‘We have not performed consistently enough against teams further down the league.

‘Our target was to go out and beat Haywards Heath well and the team finally delivered that.’