Knight: Havant excited for Tottonians battle

Joel Knight. Picture: Vernon Nash
Joel Knight. Picture: Vernon Nash
Elliott Bellman. Picture: Neil Marshall (171150-43)

Fantastic five for focused Havant

Tom Blackburn was sent off. Picture: Neil Marshall

Havant ‘brick wall’ blocks Sevenoaks

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Havant are relishing renewing their healthy rivalry against Tottonians in London one south at Hooks Lane tomorrow (2pm).

The two sides have had some terrific battles in recent years and have tremendous mutual respect for each other.

Third-placed Havant are targeting a bonus-point win to maintain the pressure on the top-two sides.

Will Knight is hoping the encounter will be more straightforward than when his troops won 28-19 at Tottonians earlier in the season.

In that game, the visitors had Jerome Trail sent off after just nine minutes following a melee.

It went from bad to worse as Tottonians raced into a 19-point lead inside the first 20 minutes.

Havant looked dead and buried but produced a remarkable fightback to deliver a bonus-point success.

Knight saluted how the Hooks Lane outfit battled back from the jaws of defeat that day.

The senior coach said: ‘What a game that was.

‘We always seem to have great games against Tottonians but in many ways that was the best for me.

‘The first 20 minutes was a nightmare but we have grown so much as a group that we found a way back into it.

‘To give a side of the quality of Tottonians a 19-point start and then score 28 unanswered points was outstanding.’

Since that victory, Havant have progressed into a position where they are realistically challenging for a play-off spot in London one south.

Following the Christmas break, they have notched four successive wins.

And Knight’s side have a chance to keep that momentum going into two consecutive home games.

With division leaders Medway visiting Hooks Lane next weekend, Havant will be aiming to head into that clash with their unbeaten run intact.

In their past two wins Havant have had to dig deep in difficult playing conditions, showing great resolve on both occasions.

Joel Knight was particularly pleased with the way his team battled for their 15-8 win at Sevenoaks last weekend.

‘That was brilliant,’ the captain said.

‘The boys literally tackled themselves to a standstill and everyone was out on their feet.

‘The forwards put in a huge shift and the work-rate, fitness and determination was something special.

‘We had talked before the game about not giving away any cheap yards and I think we kept to that promise.

‘Playing with only 14 men in those conditions was so hard but you could see how much the players were not prepared to let each other down.

‘We will grow from that victory over Sevenoaks. Sometimes you have to win ugly and it will stand us in good stead for the future.’