Living proof there is life after Robinson

122722-04_MY_Hav_Rugby'Havant v Trojans.'Pete Living drives forward.'Pic Mick Young'01/09/12
122722-04_MY_Hav_Rugby'Havant v Trojans.'Pete Living drives forward.'Pic Mick Young'01/09/12
Reuben Knight finds space to run in one of Havant's nine tries. Picture: Neil Marshall (180422-190)

Knight: We’ll be back

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Havant needed a second-half revival to earn a 34-17 London one south win at bottom club Old Colfeians.

A lethargic opening 40 minutes saw the Hooks Lane side trailing 10-5 at half-time.

But after some harsh words during the interval, they came out to take charge.

They relied on some fine play from Pete Living, who came in for England sevens training-squad man Jarryd Robinson, who is soon to depart for New Zealand.

Coach Will Knight admitted he was far from happy with his side at the interval.

‘We had some strong words with the team during half-time,’ said Knight.

‘I told the players they needed to decide what they wanted out of the rest of the season.

‘They could either carry on as they were or go out all-guns blazing and take the game by the scruff of the neck, which they were easily capable of doing.

‘To be fair, they did the latter.

‘The forwards livened up and started hitting rucks and mauls at pace which made a big difference to the pace and quality of ball we had to use.

‘Old Colfeians couldn’t cope with that and we ran out comfortable winners as a result.’

The visitors suffered a blow before kick-off when paceman Robinson pulled out with an injured shoulder.

He was replaced by Living and Havant made a good start.

Winger Loz Blackburn scorched his way over for a try in the wide area.

Things changed when John Barfoot was yellow carded for repeated offences, with just seven minutes played.

Old Colfeians responded to take advantage of their extra man.

They hit back with a penalty and converted penalty try to establish a 10-5 lead at the half-way stage.

After Knight’s rant, though, Havant came out looking a totally different team.

They soon grasped the nettle and left their struggling hosts reeling.

Living finished off an excellent Pete Austin break for a try converted by Joel Knight.

That restored Havant’s lead and they never looked back.

Another Knight penalty was followed by the try of the match.

Living was the hero as he showed himself to be a more-than-able deputy for Robinson.

The replacement full-back picked up the ball inside his own half and twice went inside and outside defenders to score from 60 yards.

Further tries from Blackburn and Dave Sweeney took Havant out of sight, before a home consolation score.

Victory ensures Havant have momentum as they look to climb the division.

Knight knows the hard yards are ahead, however.

He said: ‘There is a lot of work still to be done but this was an encouraging, confidence-boosting win.

‘We wanted a five-point win and the team eventually delivered.

‘As a result, we jump up one place in the league ahead of tough games between now and Christmas – including league leaders East Grinstead.’