Knight blow for Havant

Joel Knight Picture: Mick Young
Joel Knight Picture: Mick Young
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Havant are forced to make the trip to Charlton Park in London one south without their captain and leading points scorer Joel Knight.

It turns out that the talented three-quarter has been playing for a fortnight with a broken thumb, after it was missed on original x-rays.

Knight is now scheduled to go into hospital for surgey this weekend – and coach Will Knight admits his absence is a blow.

‘Joel is one of our go-to players and it is always going to be a blow to lose your captain and leading points scorer,’ said Knight.

‘We have good strength in depth, though, and it will provide an opportunity for others to step forward and put down a marker.’

The vastly-experienced figure of Grant Morris comes into the inside-centre berth, and in a reshuffle Pat Gains moves to full-back.

On the wing, Ed Wilks is drafted in for Darren Bamford, who has navy rugby league commitments.

Powerful winger Ben Brierley remains unavailable but, despite the changes, Knight is confident his team can return with a win.

‘The team we are sending out is easily good enough to get the result we are looking for,’ added Knight.

‘We drew our game with Charlton Park at Hooks Lane when they scored with the very final play of the game.

‘They are a big side with a very powerful front row and pace out wide.

‘We feel we have progressed since the start of the season – playing far better rugby.

‘It is likely the conditions will again be wet and heavy underfoot like it was against Sidcup last week.

‘Hopefully, we have learned from that and will make the most of our chances close to the line.

‘We will need to be more precise when the opportunities come our way and make it count.

‘The rest of the time we will need to make sure that we make intelligent use of our possession.’

Knight’s team are comfortably placed sixth in the league table – 11 points behind the title chasing clubs.

Coach Knight is convinced that there is still much to play for this season as Havant aim for the highest possible finish.