Proud day for Havant with big win to mark grand opening of new Hooks Lane pitch

Captain Joel Knight gets away for a Havant try on the fantastic new Hooks Lane surface. Picture: Keith Woodland
Captain Joel Knight gets away for a Havant try on the fantastic new Hooks Lane surface. Picture: Keith Woodland
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Havant celebrated their return to Hooks Lane in style with a 45-29 bonus-point London one south win against Hove.

Playing the first-ever game on their brand new artificial grass pitch the home side ran in six tries.

General Views of the the new pitch at Havant RFC. Pictures: Keith Woodland

General Views of the the new pitch at Havant RFC. Pictures: Keith Woodland

It was a special occasion for everyone involved with the club.

They have had a tough start to the season on the road each week.

But now they are back at home and can enjoy the excellent new facilities there.

To see the full picture gallery click on the link at the top of the story or on the icon on the main image.

Head coach Will Knight was very proud to see the team play so well and such a superb atmosphere.

He said: ‘It was a fabulous day all round for the club.

‘There was a big crowd with a lot of old faces returning for a big day in the club's history.

‘The players were excited to be back at home playing in front of a packed stand.

‘Very few clubs if any at our level enjoy the unique atmosphere that we generate.

‘The players are also excited by the amazing playing surface that we now have to perform on.

Players with pace and good footwork can now really show what they can do.

‘It is also a good surface for the forwards to scrummage on.

‘We know every home game we have this perfect pitch to play on.

‘It provides a consistency that over a period of time we can learn to maximise.

‘At the moment the whole club is buzzing.’

Havant made the perfect start scoring virtually from the kick-off.

A forward drive resulted in the ball being worked to Ben Chambers who set up a ruck.

Quick recycling was followed by a good Fraser Bruce break and Harrison Young in support piled over.

Gareth Davis added the conversion and repeated the feat after Joel Knight crossed for a second try.

Harrison Young claimed his second try when he picked a beautiful line from a ruck.

Hove were better than their bottom of the league position suggested and hit back with two tries.

Just before half-time Gareth Davis knocked over a penalty to give Havant a 24-15 half-time lead.

At the start of the second half the Sussex side closed the gap to 24-22.

With the game in the balance Havant stepped up their game.

Joel Knight showed his quality to cut through for a try and then a dominant home scrum led to a penalty try.

A neat piece of heading by Armundus Morgan set up a final try for Joe Davis.

Will Knight added: ‘Our performance was by no means perfect but when we played our rugby it was too much for Hove.

‘It was just what we needed, though, with some tough games coming up in the run in to Christmas.

‘We are entering into a period when we have a number of players coming back.

‘This will increase competition for places and at the same time push up the level of performances.’