Storming Havant continue county cup defence

Mike Brook powers through for the seventh Havant try against Basingstoke. Picture: Mick Young 150076-11
Mike Brook powers through for the seventh Havant try against Basingstoke. Picture: Mick Young 150076-11
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Havant stormed into the Hampshire Cup semi-finals by blowing away traditional rivals Basingstoke 62-13 at Hooks Lane.

The big win provides further evidence of the growing confidence within the ranks.

‘It was a very good performance and the win was every bit as comprehensive as the scoreline suggests,’ said Havant head coach Will Knight.

‘Admittedly Basingstoke are struggling at the moment and we took full advantage of that.

‘Once we settled into the game we just carried too much fire-power for them.

‘Our scrummage was totally dominant and we shunted them back and our line-out functioned well.

‘It meant we had lots of possession and our backs were far too quick for them to contain.

‘They had a player red carded, 20 minutes from time, and we clocked up nine tries in the end.’

Winger Jay Wilks scored two first-half tries before going on to complete his hat-trick early in the second half.

Centre James Read grabbed a brace, with Ed Wilks, Pat Gains, Darren Bamford and Pete Living also crossing as the hosts coasted to victory.

‘An awful lot of what we have been doing on the training ground was put into practice,’ added Knight.

‘We had four players making their senior debuts.

‘All made a good contribution and it shows the increasing depth of quality in our squad of players.

‘We are playing with a lot more confidence and that will stand us in good stead for the rest of the season.

‘We want to recapture our Hampshire crown and make sure of our London one south status as soon as possible.’

Injury-hit Fareham Heathens slipped to a 22-8 Hampshire one loss at second-placed Bognor.

Heathens coach Bernie Rhodes praised the way his depleted side competed against their powerful hosts.

‘We had five wingers on the field and no back replacements,’ said Rhodes.

‘It was a good game, though, and we can take a lot of positives from it.

‘Blind-side wing-forward Johnny Stoppard and full-back Jaz Solanki put in immense performances for us.

‘We have a lot of players out injured but the lads coming in are doing a great job.’

Dave Wheaton grabbed the Heathens try, with Ryan Keary kicking a penalty.