Havant want to repeat formidable home campaign

Steve Cruddas. Picture: Keith Woodland
Steve Cruddas. Picture: Keith Woodland
Gosport & Fareham's Sean Shepherd. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (171571-1)

Bridgman: Plenty more to come after away relief

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HAVANT hope to be roared on to victory as they start their London one south home campaign against Brighton at Hooks Lane on Saturday (3pm).

Head coach Will Knight has set his side the target of repeating last season’s unbeaten home record.

They will need to be on their game and ready to make a fast start.

‘Hooks Lane was a fortress for us last season and we want to keep that going,’ said the Havant boss.

‘We want to continue making it a difficult place for opponents to come and play their rugby.

‘Last year we drew our first home game and then went on to win the rest.

‘Our second team were also unbeaten at home so it became a real mental strength throughout the club.

‘There is a special atmosphere and it is probably the best ground in our league.

‘Few of the other clubs have the facilities of an enclosed pitch, a grandstand and a sizeable support.

‘The home crowd play a key part in our success, creating a big club feel about the place.

‘We must look to keep building on it.’

Knight was encouraged by Havant’s 44-25 winning start at London Cornish.

With a number of new players drafted in he felt the team produced a really positive performance and there is more to come.

Havant make minimal changes to their winning line-up.

The three-quarters are unchanged but their are two changes in the forwards.

Elliott Bellman comes into the hooker spot on rotation with Paddy Dowd reverting to the replacements.

In the back row Steve Cruddas comes in after missing part of the pre-season through injury.

He replaces the unavailable Joe Davis.

‘Having a bit of consistency at this stage will help us establish our patterns,’ said Knight.

‘We have had some fantastic battles with Brighton over the years and generally they tend to be close affairs.

‘Brighton will afford a real challenge and I am expecting a hard fought 80 minutes. The games are hugely enjoyable.’

‘It was good to start the season with a good win at London Cornish.

‘Over the next few weeks we have a number of players coming back which will just add to our strength in depth.

‘It will increase competition for places even more.

‘We must be looking to develop our game even further, we played some good attacking rugby at London Cornish and want to extend that.’

New recruits Ben Chambers, Ben Tagituimua, Dowds and Rob Cuff all did well on their debuts.

They all retain their place in the squad and will be making their home debuts.

Havant: Chambers, Morris, Brierley, Knight, Carr, Tagituimua, Hewitt, Powell, Bellman E, Ward-Golden, Janes, Young, Cuff, Cruddas, Barfoot. Replacements: Dowd, Mellor, Reynolds