Powerful show keeps Havant on a roll at home with hard-fought win against Dartfordians

Scott Morris helped Havant continue their good form at home. Picture: Keith Woodland
Scott Morris helped Havant continue their good form at home. Picture: Keith Woodland
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Havant had to show great power to see off the challenge of Dartfordians in their 34-15 London one south win at Hooks Lane.

It was a fifth-consecutive win for Will Knight's side but they needed a strong finish to make sure of the bonus point.

Not the most fluent display but Havant are in form, up to ninth and enjoying managing to get on a roll at home.

Head coach Knight was pleased with the resilience shown by his team in the later stages.

He said: ‘It was an efficient performance rather than a vintage one.

‘We went to sleep in the opening 20 minutes of the second half and allowed them back into it.

‘When they got back to 15-15 we started to worry.

‘Earlier in the season it was a game we would have lost.

‘It was pleasing we showed the character to pick things up again and finished the game well.

‘The team showed the ability to regather and remind the self-discipline the situation required.

‘We kept our heads in what was a tough physical encounter.

‘The players showed good physicality against opponents who pride themselves on their set-pieces.

‘I think we got the edge on them in that area.’

Ben Chambers opened the scoring with a 15th-minute penalty.

This was quickly followed by a Ben Brierley try converted by Chambers.

Brierley received the ball and smashed his way through two tackles to score.

On the half-hour winger James Wise crossed for the first of his three tries following a terrific break from Scott Morris.

The home side looked comfortably placed leading 15-0 at the interval.

Havant, however, took their foot off the gas at the start of the second half.

This allowed the Kent side to draw level 10 minutes from the end.

Head coach Knight added: ‘At that point Dartfordians had their tails up.

‘Our reaction was great to see.’

The hosts restored their superiority and after a brief spell of pressure regained the lead.

Scrum-half Jake Hewitt grabbed the touchdown at the back of the scrum.

Wise completed the fightback with two late tries to complete his hat-trick.

Knight added: ‘Sometimes you have to win ugly.

‘At the same time we did produce some excellent finishing.

‘It was good to keep our winning momentum going.

‘After getting through a difficult patch of the season we are starting to play the rugby we always felt we are capable of.

‘Having the run of games at home has certainly helped.

‘Dartfordians are a difficult team to break down and to put them to bed in the fashion that we did was very pleasing.’

It sets things up nicely for their next game – a derby clash with 11th-placed Chichester at Hooks Lane on Saturday.