Matthews: Unbeaten streak key to Havant’s promotion charge

Steve Cruddas will start for Havant. Picture: Chris Moorhouse

Rob Matthews admitted Havant will have to remain virtually unbeaten for the rest of the season if they’re to achieve promotion from London one south.

The Hooks Lane outfit host Old Colfeians tomorrow afternoon (2pm) – and the club’s director of rugby stressed consistency is key between now and the end of the campaign.

Havant have been in good form following the festive break, having delivered victories over Chichester and Maidstone respectively.

The club are third in the London one south table and Matthews believes his side can’t afford any slip-ups if they are to be promoted.

The director of rugby said: ‘We know to gain promotion we will virtually have to remain unbeaten for the rest of the season.

‘Since coming back after Christmas, we have shown a steely determination to try to achieve that.

‘The win against Chichester, in particular, was a big marker.

‘In that game, we played some of our best rugby – particularly in the second half.

‘When we play to our patterns and to the best of our ability then we are capable of beating anyone in our league.

‘The key now is maintaining our consistency.

‘It is important we keep building towards the two big games against the top-two teams coming up.’

The home side make a number of changes in the forwards for the clash against Old Colfeians, including the return of prop-forward Luke Marks.

Meanwhile, Steve Cruddas comes in for the unavailable Tristan Trehan.

Rob Cuffe is ruled out with a knee injury but Luke Barfoot is back from university.

In the three-quarters, Penioni Tagituimua replaces Luke Warrington on the wing.

Old Colfeians sit 11th in the table, eight places below the Hooks Lane side.

Nevertheless, Matthews insists his troops will not underestimate their London-based opponents.

He added: ‘Our opponents had an excellent home win against Tottonians in their last game and that will give them confidence.

‘What this league has shown us is that there are no easy games.

‘When we played them at their place earlier in the season they gave us a good battle. It wasn’t until the final play of the game that we picked up the bonus point.

‘However, we have only lost once at home in the best part of two seasons, though, and have turned Hooks Lane into a fortress.

‘Every match is a potential banana skin for us and if we are not 100 per cent on our game we can easily come unstuck.’

Havant: Chambers, Carr, Morris, Brierley, Tagituimua, Knight J, Reynolds, Marks, Trail, Morgan, Janes, Young, Goldring, Cruddas, Barfoot

Replacements: Ward-Golden, Mellor, Warrington

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