Hooks Lane fortress breached as Havant crash

Havant's Ben Brierley. Picture: Neil Marshall (171150-14)
Havant's Ben Brierley. Picture: Neil Marshall (171150-14)
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Havant could have few complaints as their long unbeaten home record was ended by CS Rugby 1863 on Saturday.

The Hooks Lane outfit, unbeaten for more than a year on home turf, went down 30-21 in the London one south clash.

Head coach Will Knight rated CS Rugby as the best team they have come up against so far this season.

However, he admitted Havant were well short of their usual standards.

‘We showed all the spirit and intensity you come to expect from the present side,’ said Will Knight.

‘The usual accuracy and precision were missing, however, and we were guilty of giving away too much.

‘If you do that against a team of CS Rugby’s quality then you are going to get punished.

‘A few of their tries were created more by us than them.

‘Poor organisation in defence and missed tackles didn’t help at times.

‘We must take a good look at ourselves and make sure our performances are better in the coming weeks.’

CS Rugby started strongly and soon established a 12-0 lead with two tries.

If that wasn’t bad enough, the hosts suffered a big blow when they lost outside-half Joel Knight to injury.

Havant rallied, though, and opened their account with a Scott Morris try, converted by Jake Reynolds.

But by half-time CS had stretched their lead to 22-7 with two further unconverted tries.

Havant hit back a few minutes into the second half – following excellent work by the forwards.

Richard Janes produced a lovely offload to put Ben Brierley under the posts and Reynolds added the extras.

Both teams continued to attack and each scored tries in quick succession.

Full-back Ben Chambers reduced the deficit to 27-21 and the hosts were suddenly eyeing a victory.

Will Knight added: ‘At that stage I felt there was a possibility we could get it.

‘Then they kicked a penalty to take it away from us.

‘We made far too many errors and in the end that is what ultimately cost us the game.

‘At times we played some good rugby but our biggest problem was the lack of accuracy.

‘We failed to make the most of our chances.

‘Three times we got across their line but failed to get the ball down.

‘There was a little lack of nous on occasions.

‘Sometimes we would keep pounding on their door when maybe we should have shifted the ball wider.

‘There were a number of bits and pieces that could have gone better.’

Havant remain in fourth spot but a gap is starting to open up at the top.

The Hooks Lane outfit have already played most of the top sides, though.

With the other title rivals still to play each other, Havant remain very firmly in the promotion mix.