Knight frustrated with Havant’s ‘worst display in three seasons’

Havant battle to halt the Gosport charge. Picture: Sarah Standing (142624-8106)
Havant battle to halt the Gosport charge. Picture: Sarah Standing (142624-8106)
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Havant coach Will Knight slammed his team’s performance after their 27-18 local derby defeat at Gosport & Fareham.

The visitors failed to come to terms with the power of the home side who took them apart up front.

It was a big disappointment for Knight, who has seen his team lose their two opening league games.

‘It was probably the worst Havant performance I have seen in three seasons,’ said Knight.

‘With all due respect to Gosport they played little rugby but we played even less in a low quality match.

‘They played to their strengths with some big lumps in their pack, concentrating all game on playing around the fringes.

‘We failed to come to terms with that and failed to meet the challenge head on.

‘I always knew it was going to be a difficult game but I didn’t expect this.’

Though put on the back foot at the start, Havant drew first blood when Nick Benjamin latched onto a bouncing ball and beat two covering defenders to score in the corner.

Joel Knight converted from the touchline and the scene was set for Havant to push on.

The Havant drive never materialised, though.

They soon found themselves pegged back when they failed to stop a driving maul.

The home side increased their lead with a second try.

But as the contest neared the half-time break, Jake Hewitt took advantage of a lucky bounce.

He went clear to score a second Havant try.

In the second half, Knight’s team continued to struggle to form any kind of platform.

And it was the hosts who took charge.

‘We just had too many players who didn’t perform,’ said Knight.

‘You can carry one or two individuals but when it is eight or nine it becomes difficult to put anything together.

‘There are no excuses. We cannot expect to turn up, perform like that, and expect to get anything from a game.

‘We had a couple of opportunities to score.

‘But generally we created little all through the game.

‘It was a typical game between the two clubs, with plenty going on off the ball.

‘Some of it was ugly but that is no excuse for us.

‘Gosport played better than we did.

‘Gosport played to their strengths and we didn’t.’

Knight now faces the task of picking his players up in time for a difficult-looking trip to Brighton on Saturday.

Starting the season with two defeats is a big blow for the Hooks Lane club.

They spent much of last season in and around the relegation zone.

This season they plan to be pushing up the table and Knight is calling on his men to improve.

‘We have to regard yesterday as a bad day at the office and put it behind us,’ said Knight.

‘I don’t want it to happen again this season.’