Havant have to beat weather before Dover

Pete Austin will be missing if Havant's match at Dover goes ahead this weekend
Pete Austin will be missing if Havant's match at Dover goes ahead this weekend
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Doncaster Knights Rugby Club and former Havant rugby player Ian Williams. Picture: Doncaster Knights Rugby Club/PA Wire

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Havant have one eye on the weather as they face a long journey to take on Dover in London one south.

Freezing temperatures are forecast for the south-east of England and Havant manager Rob Matthews is hoping the Kent side will make an early decision on whether the game can go ahead.

If the match beats the weather, Havant believe they can come away with a win by showing self-belief.

‘Looking at our fixtures for the rest of the season, this is one we are targeting as important to win,’ said Matthews.

‘We lost to them by a point at Hooks Lane in our fourth game of the season and it was one we felt we should have won.

‘We have improved a lot since then and shown that, on our day, we can be competitive against most sides in this league.

‘It is a case of going to Dover, looking to limit our mistakes and to retain as much possession as we can.’

Flying winger and England Sevens prospect Jarryd Robinson has joined Bournemouth, while hooker Pete Austin is unavailable because of training in the army.

Rob Elsmore moves across to replace Austin and Josh and Loz Blackburn return to the side.

Dan Roberts is back in the second row and Grant Morris plays at full-back.

‘We didn’t do ourselves justice losing to Chichester in our last game,’ said Matthews.

‘Failure to concentrate in tight games has cost us and at times lost us games we should have won.

‘We will show Dover respect because they are on a good run but we must also have belief in our own ability.’

United Services coach Simon Burns wants his team to show their character and bounce back to winning ways against Millbrook at Burnaby Road in Hampshire one.

Services had their promotion hopes dented by a heavy loss at Alton and are also looking to avenge an earlier defeat by the visitors.

‘If we are to push up the leagues we have to show greater consistency week in, week out,’ said Burns.

‘It is important that we bounce back straight away.’

Ben Lanigan, Gregor Irvine and new captain Will Blackett all return for Services.