Havant turn to Blackburns for lift

Loz Blackburn is set to line up with his two brothers for Havant at Cobham tomorrow    Picture: Mick Young
Loz Blackburn is set to line up with his two brothers for Havant at Cobham tomorrow Picture: Mick Young
Steve Cruddas will start for Havant. Picture: Chris Moorhouse

Matthews: Unbeaten streak key to Havant’s promotion charge

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Havant are looking to the Blackburn brothers to prevent them dropping into the London one south relegation zone at fellow strugglers Cobham.

Wingers Loz (27) and Josh (22) are joined by their 25-year-old wing-forward brother Ash as Havant go in search of their first win since Christmas.

‘Loz is our leading scorer with 12 tries this season and Josh has come into the side in the past couple of weeks and shown himself to be a good asset,’ said team manager Rob Matthews.

‘Off-field commitments have limited Ash’s appearances this season but he is a very effective aggressive wing-forward.’

Matthews accepts winning games against teams in and around them in the league is crucial to their survival.

If Gosport & Fareham pick up their expected bonus-point win at Old Colfeians, the losers of this game will find themselves in the bottom three.

That is a prospect Matthews is hoping to avoid.

Earlier in the season, winger Jarryd Robinson virtually beat Cobham on his own with four tries but he has since moved on to Bournemouth.

‘What we musn’t do is panic,’ said Matthews.

‘It is a big game because neither of us want to be sucked into the relegation zone.

‘We haven’t won this side of Christmas and need to change that to give ourselves a boost in confidence.’

Havant are boosted by the return of experienced scrum-half Liam Davenport from a ski trip.

Stand-in Pete Living did a sterling job but he will be pleased to move back to his regular spot at outside-half.

Davenport will give Havant a greater opportunity to play ‘heads-up’ rugby and create better scoring opportunities for the three-quarters.

‘Cobham are suffering a similar dip in form to us and they are beatable,’ said Matthews.

‘The key to it for us is going back to doing the basics right.

‘Up until last weekend we provided a solid platform and we must provide that again so our talented backs can get at Cobham.

‘Then we have to take the scoring chances when they present themselves to us.’

Matthews is convinced Havant have the resources and quality in their squad to stay up.

He added: ‘I am hoping we can beat Cobham and use the win as a springboard to move further up the table.’