Knight: Havant can’t afford any slip-ups

Wayne John. Picture: Keith Woodland
Wayne John. Picture: Keith Woodland
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Will Knight has warned his Havant troops they are walking a play-off tightrope.

The Hooks Lane outfit play host to Cobham in London one south on Saturday (3pm).

And Knight believes anything less than a victory may end the club’s hopes of breaking into the promotion shake-up.

The head coach knows Cobham are dangerous opponents, though.

However, Havant have only lost one game on home turf in more than two-and-a-half seasons and will be hoping to make that advantage count again.

Knight said: ‘We are now at the business end of the season with a number of big games coming up.

‘And it starts with this one because Cobham are a good side

‘While we got a bonus-point win at their place earlier in the season, it was a hard-fought affair.

‘It wasn’t until late in the game that we secured the points and we know we will have another battle on our hands on Saturday.

‘All of us have had a couple of weeks’ break and are aware of trying not to be rusty. It is important we hit the ground running.

‘If we are at anything less than our best, Cobham will fancy their chances.

‘Since Christmas we have done really well and it would be a shame to slip up at this stage.

‘We know it will only take one poor result to make our task of catching the top two very difficult.’

Havant are forced to reshuffle their forwards with the unavailability of Joe Davis.

Tristan Trehan moves to number eight with Steve Cruddas and Mitch Goldring occupying the wing-forward berths.

There are also changes in the three-quarters – notably with experienced scrum-half Wayne John coming in for a rare start.

John’s availability has been limited this season but Knight is hoping to have him around for a few games.

‘Cowboy has played a lot of rugby at a higher level and has a wealth of experience,’ added the coach.

‘He will bring a wealth of experience and organisation. It is a position where we have injury problems and to be able to bring someone of his quality in is great for the team.’

Elsewhere, Harry Carr replaces Ben Chambers at full-back and Ben Brierley returns on the wing.

Knight is urging his players to carry on where they left off against Medway last time out.

‘Our tackle success rate was in the region of 96 per cent,’ he said.

‘We have to make sure we maintain that level of focus and concentration.

‘Cobham have a potent back-row and threats out wide, so we have to remain aware and deal with it.

‘When we have the ball we have to be clinical and we have proved if we do this then we are a difficult team to play against.’