Coach hails Havant resolve in grim conditions

From left: Rich Janes and Joel Knight. Picture: Vernon Nash
From left: Rich Janes and Joel Knight. Picture: Vernon Nash
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Havant needed their best wet-weather game to edge past Old Colfeians 17-13 in a London one south encounter at Hooks Lane.

Will Knight praised the way his side came out on top and picked up another crucial four points.

In a hard-fought clash, Havant showed the extra bit of quality required to get themselves over the winning line.

And Will Knight felt it showed his team’s ability to adapt.

The head coach said: ‘It was a good performance in desperately muddy conditions.

‘We showed the resolve to get the job done in conditions that were a great leveller.

‘It probably favoured our opponents who had a big pack of forwards and a powerful scrum.

‘But we stuck at it and when we needed to showed great defence.

‘This performance adds to our portfolio and shows we are able to play in all conditions.

‘It is a long league season and you are not going to have perfect conditions every game.

‘We could have had a couple more scores but it wasn’t easy keeping hold of the ball in contact situations.

‘Not surprisingly there was a lot of spilled ball but we did manage to take some opportunities when they came along.’

The game opened with both teams slugging it out in the middle of the pitch.

Colfeians then took the lead with a penalty before Havant hit back with the first try of the game.

Joel Knight made a break up the middle and popped the ball up to Ben Chambers in the tackle.

The full-back sidestepped oncoming defenders to score under the posts.

Joel Knight added the conversion but Colfeians knocked over a second penalty to reduce Havant’s lead to 7-6 at the break.

It was the home side that started the second half the stronger.

Joel Knight kicked a penalty and then converted a second Chambers try to make it 17-6.

Good approach work by the forwards laid the platform and when the ball was moved along the line Chambers powered his way over the line.

A yellow card for second-row Rich Janes offered Colfeians some encouragement and they set up a tense finale with a try 13 minutes from the end.

‘It was always going to be a nervy finish with a single score between the two sides,’ added Will Knight.

‘They were coming at us hammer and tongs – running the ball from everywhere – but our defence was fantastic with some massive shots going in.

‘We also had chances of our own but were pleased to come away with the win.

‘We still have to play the top two, so our fate is in our own hands.’

Havant are in third spot but within reach of the leading pair Medway and CS Rugby 1863.