Havant open account with convincing win

Dave Sweeney. Picture: Sarah Standing (142799-13)
Dave Sweeney. Picture: Sarah Standing (142799-13)
Havant's Joe Davis

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Havant displayed a killer instinct to secure the first win of their London one south campaign with a convincing 56-22 win at Hove.

After surging to an 18-3 interval lead, the visitors had to withstand a mini-fightback from their Sussex hosts in the second period.

Two converted tries in quick succession by Hove threatened to sew seeds of doubt.

However, Will Knight’s team steadied the ship and finished in a powerful fashion to take the game away from their hosts.

‘The way we put our foot back on the throttle in the final quarter was very pleasing,’ said the head coach.

‘Once we had Hove by the throat we kept it up.

‘In previous games this season we have been guilty of not doing that and losing because of it.

‘When Hove started to get their tails up we quickly nipped it in the bud.’

Havant started well and were in the ascendancy during the opening 40 minutes.

After conceding an early penalty the visitors took charge.

Joel Knight knocked over two penalties, converted a Dave Sweeney try and nipped over for a try of his own.

Sweeney’s try came after he found a gap in the home defence with a dummy for a well-taken score.

Joel Knight showed good footwork for his score – after catching a ball on the home twenty-two.

He converted his own try to give the visitors an 18-3 half-time lead.

It all looked done and dusted at the start of the second period as Havant soon stretched their lead to 32-3.

Steve Cruddas went over from a catch-and-drive line-out close to the line and Joel Knight grabbed his second try.

Sweeney was again the architect for the score, making a good break before finding his centre up in support.

But Hove fought back and it took a Joel Knight penalty to stem the flow.

From that point the visitors took charge again to run out convincing winners.

Loz Warren-West, replacement Jake Hewitt and Sweeney again all added converted tries in the final quarter.

‘The players realised the importance of the game and the need to win,’ said Will Knight.

‘They realised the time for action was needed and translated that into a positive performance.

‘The pleasing thing from the coaches’ point of view was that things we had worked on in training came to fruition in the game.

‘It is good for the players to see that connection paying off. That helps breed the approach.

‘We have been playing some good rugby without getting the results.

‘The players have been fully committed to the challenge from the start.

‘In this game they knew they had to get the win by hook or by crook.

‘We have some tough games coming up but this win will boost our confidence going into them.’