Knight: Havant will not lack motivation at CS Rugby

Havant full-back Ben Chambers. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (181102-1)
Havant full-back Ben Chambers. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (181102-1)
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Will Knight is backing third-placed Havant to show their big-match mentality as they travel to London one south leaders CS Rugby 1863.

Only seven points separate the top three in a thrilling race for promotion to the National League.

CS Rugby are the only team to win at Havant’s Hooks Lane headquarters this season.

But Knight believes his troops can turn the tables on their hosts.

‘With the way the season is panning out, this is a big game for both teams,’ said Havant’s head coach.

‘A win will see us close the points difference on the top two and – at this point – that could prove crucial.

‘We have won every game since Christmas and see this very much as the next step in our journey.

‘I’d like to think we have the composure and mental strength for a game such as this. Motivation won’t be an issue.

‘The players have shown they love going up against teams above them in the table.

‘It will be a case of making sure we deliver what we are capable of.

‘It is likely to be a game of very few chances, so when ours come along we have to make sure we are clinical in taking them.

‘And that is something we have been good at recently.’

Hampshire and Royal Navy commitments have forced Havant into some changes.

In the back-row, Tristan Trehan is at sea and Steve Cruddas is unavailable.

Mitch Goldring starts at number six, Rob Cuffe is at number eight and Lee Mellor comes in as the other wing-forward.

In the three-quarters, Ben Chambers returns at full-back – with Harry Carr switching to the wing.

On the other wing, Jerome Rudder is playing for Hampshire under-20s on Sunday.

Among the replacements is Knight’s son Reuben, who has been with the London Irish Academy.

Like his brother and captain, Joel Knight, he plays at outside-half.

Knight Snr knows his team need to be at their best if they are to overcome their hosts.

‘This season CS Rugby have been the team most others have regarded as the best,’ said the coach.

‘They possess an all-round strength but are particularly good at back-row and half-back.

‘If we are to win then we will need to attack their strengths.

‘It will need to be a very focused performance from us.

‘We have shown – increasingly – we are able to adapt to different situations.

‘Also we can play in a number of different ways.

‘If we can win this match then it makes a big statement and sets us up for a good finish.’

Havant: Chambers, Carr, Morris, Bamford, Brierley, Knight J, John, Morgan, Trail, Bellman, Janes, Young, Goldring, Mellor, Cuffe. Replacements: Knight R, Whitehead, Blackburn T