Threat of bottom three haunts Havant

081600-3_hav 19/04/08 (IH)''Tom Wells runs the line as Havant take on Clifton RFC at Hooks Lane.'PICTURE: IAN HARGREAVES (081600-3)
081600-3_hav 19/04/08 (IH)''Tom Wells runs the line as Havant take on Clifton RFC at Hooks Lane.'PICTURE: IAN HARGREAVES (081600-3)
From left: Rich Janes and Joel Knight. Picture: Vernon Nash

Coach hails Havant resolve in grim conditions

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Havant will be determined to stay out of the bottom three when they host Bishop’s Stortford in a rearranged National League Three London & south east match-up at Hooks Lane.

The home side are without a win so far this year and have slipped to fourth from bottom.

These are worrying times at Havant and they know relegation is a real possibility unless they can engineer a change of fortune.

With eight games left this season, director of rugby Adam King believes another two or three wins could be enough to save them.

Most of the matches are against sides below or around them in the league, although Bishop’s Stortford are just above midway.

‘It’s a case of us just needing to win a game to restore some of our confidence,’ said King.

‘We were more competitive in the Dorking defeat last week and must look to increase that further again.

‘Since Christmas, a lot of our under-par performances have stemmed from poor confidence.

‘Ever since we lost in the last minute at home to North Walsham, it has affected us.

‘That was a game we should have won having led all the way through. Losing that game hit us hard.

‘We need only a couple more wins but they have to come from somewhere.

‘I am looking for us to get points this week as it is vital we stay out of the bottom three.

‘It is very tight at the bottom of the league.’

Havant have experienced prop-forward Tom Wells back to help offset the loss of skipper Steve Cruddas, who is ruled out for the rest of the season.

Second-row forward Nick Whittle will have a late fitness test on his shoulder and Chris Thompson also returns in the back five.

Only one change is made in the backs, with Jaryd Robinson preferred to his brother Dan on the wing.

Graeme Frith and Richie Stenhouse are both unavailable.

‘Losing our captain for the rest of the season is a huge blow but having Tom Wells back is a bonus,’ said King.

‘He has played at a higher level and his experience will be invaluable.

‘A win will pick us up but whatever happens we must remain mentally tough. It is still in our own hands.’

Havant: Keyte, Duke, Stapleton, Morris,Robinson J, McSeveney, Booth, Wells, Horn, Davenport, Thompson, Neill, Whittle, Matthews, Whelan, Hart, Barfoot, Porter, Cutting, Sutton.