Havant hope normal service will resume at home

Luke Barfoot will make his 100th league appearance. Picture: Neil Marshall
Luke Barfoot will make his 100th league appearance. Picture: Neil Marshall
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WILL KNIGHT has challenged Havant to start another long unbeaten home run as they welcome Gravesend to Hooks Lane in London one south (2.30pm).

A win could see the home side leapfrog Chichester into the top three but they are not expecting an easy ride against opposition who usually cause them problems.

In their previous Hooks Lane match Havant lost on their own patch for the first time since April 2016.

Since then they have bounced back with a 29-14 win on the road at Cobham.

Head coach Knight recognises the four league games between now and Christmas will have an important bearing on the rest of the season.

If can Havant can get back on a good run of form they will be going into the new year in great shape.

‘We are entering an important phase of the campaign,’ said Knight.

‘It is important we get back to winning ways at Hooks Lane and also pick up results against some of the better teams.

‘This starts against Gravesend who are never easy opponents to play.

‘I have not come up against a Gravesend side yet that hasn’t come at us all-guns blazing.

‘Despite their position in the league I am expecting no different this time.

‘Teams do raise their game when they come to us and enjoy playing at our ground almost as much as we do.

‘Our focus is on getting as many points up to the Christmas break and then assessing where we are.’

Back-row forward Luke Barfoot will make his 100th league appearance for Havant.

Injury problems have restricted his tally.

Knight is pleased to have him back involved and is hoping to crown the century in fitting fashion with a victory.

‘Luke is a very talented footballer who reads the game very well,’ said the Havant head coach.

‘I am glad to have him back after he missed last season.

‘Playing 100 league games for the club is quite a feather in his cap.’

Powerful hooker Jerome Trail returns to the starting line-up and Steve Cruddas is in the back-row.

The home side make two changes in the three-quarters.

Jake Reynolds is back at scrum half and winger Harry Carr returns following a lengthy spell out with a head injury.

‘We are picking the team from strength this weekend,’ said Knight.

‘There is excellent strength in depth which makes for good competition for places.

‘This is crucial for the success of any team.

‘We are looking for the team to build on the win at Cobham.

‘There we settled down after a fragmented first half.

‘The players took responsibility for adapting their game which eventually gave us a bonus-point win.

‘As coaches we are looking to improve areas that need it and develop further the areas that are going well.’

HAVANT: Chambers, Tagitumua, S Morris, Brierley, Carr, J Knight, Reynolds, T Blackburn, Trail, Morgan, Janes, Young, Cuffe, Cruddas, Barfoot