Knight hails hard graft as Havant stop rot

Grant Morris. Picture: Mick Young (141581-05)
Grant Morris. Picture: Mick Young (141581-05)
  • Hooks Lane outfit grab timely win over Tottonians
  • Head coach points to crucial work on training ground
  • Morris rises from bench to score winning try
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Havant stopped the rot in London one south with a 29-24 derby win over Tottonians at Hooks Lane.

It was a welcome success for Will Knight’s troops.

The triumph ended a run of five successive defeats and came before they face old foes Gosport & Fareham in their next game.

In an entertaining contest, two tries in four minutes put Havant in the driving seat at the start of the second half.

But the visitors proved tough opponents and they led 24-22 with just six minutes left on the clock.

At the end, it was veteran replacement scrum-half Grant Morris who dived over for the winning score with Joel Knight adding the conversion.

Will Knight admitted the priority was making sure they got the win – by hook or by crook.

‘This was a game we needed to win – whether that was by three points or 50 points,’ said the head coach.

‘As it was, we played very well and certainly played a lot more rugby than our opponents.

‘We scored four good tries and it is a massive relief to end our losing streak.

‘Although we weren’t panicking, we were starting to scratch our heads a bit because all our defeats – apart from the previous weekend – had been by narrow margins.

‘We knew we needed to find a way of getting over the finishing line and getting another win on the board.

‘The things we have been working on were evident out on the pitch and subsequently made the difference.’

The visitors led 10-8 at the break – with Havant’s points coming from a Jake Hewitt try and a Joel Knight penalty.

The home side were quick out of the blocks at the start of the second half.

Centre Loz Blackburn started and finished a great move to score under the posts with Joel Knight converting.

Straight from the restart, Gav Hart initiated another move from inside his own twenty-two with winger Scott Morris making a great break.

Steve Cruddas and Jerome Trail carried the move on and when the latter threw the ball back over his head, Joel Knight fed Ben Brierley to go under the posts.

The conversion was once again successful but a contentious penalty try put Tottonians back in front.

The home side kept their nerve, though.

And the winning try was no more than they deserved.

‘It was nice to come out on top in a cracking game of rugby,’ said Will Knight.

‘The boost to our confidence could not have come at a better time with Gosport & Fareham next up.

‘That derby is bound to be another humdinger, with honours fairly even in recent years.

‘Derbies add a little extra bit of spice but it is still all about picking up league points.’