Fantastic five for focused Havant

Elliott Bellman. Picture: Neil Marshall (171150-43)

Havant scored four tries in a thrilling 27-15 bonus-point win over Tottonians at Hooks Lane on Saturday.

At one stage the hosts trailed 15-5 but again showed great character to fight back and claim the vital victory.

The win keeps Will Knight’s side in third place in London one south – applying pressure on leading pair Medway and CS Rugby 1863.

Leaders Medway are the next visitors to Hooks Lane on February 17.

With five straight wins since Christmas, Havant may fancy their chances of upsetting the title favourites.

However, they were made to work hard for their latest success, which came as no surprise to Will Knight.

‘Tottonians are always a handful,’ said the head coach.

‘Their outside-half Robbie Searle is a quality player and he put his side in the right areas of the field.

‘We always knew we would have a challenge on our hands but we absorbed the pressure well.

‘It was a game between the two top sides in the county and we know each other very well.

‘A lot of the lads have played county rugby together, so there is great rivalry on the pitch but good camaraderie off it.

‘Their coach Gav Hart was our player of the year last season.

‘They are a dangerous side when given opportunities but I felt our defence held up well. We showed great resilience and scored four good tries.’

In a full-blooded opening, Havant lost back-row forward Joe Davis to a yellow card for an offence at a ruck.

But despite this the home side drew first blood through an unconverted Elliott Bellman try.

Searle got the visitors on the board with a penalty.

And then his brother, Michael, put them in front with a try.

The Searle show continued for the visitors when Robbie matched his brother with a try of his own as Tottonians threatened to take control.

Havant hit back as Armundus Morgan crashed over the line for a try converted by Joel Knight.

A Joel Knight penalty then saw the teams locked at 15-15 at the break.

In the second half, Havant made their quality count – scoring two tries without reply.

Back-row forward Steve Cruddas crossed out wide for the first on 54 minutes.

And hooker Jerome Trail sealed the win six minutes before the end as he blasted through a gap.

Will Knight added: ‘This win sets us up nicely for Medway.

‘Since Christmas we’ve been talking about every game as a cup final.

‘We know if we want to get to where we want to be, we cannot afford any slip-ups.

‘This is a game we have been building towards.

‘The home crowd will be out in force and hopefully we can give them something to shout about.’

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