Havant 27 – 15 Hove

Bonus point for Havant as they overpower Hove

by Rugby  Reporter

Havant continued their winning ways as they ran in 5 tries against their visitors from Sussex.

Bonus point for Havant as they overpower Hove

After last weeks heroics in the Cup Havant returned to league action with a tough match against relegation battlers Hove.

Havant never really hit top gear but in the end they had a little too much in the tank for their visitors from Sussex.

The home side opened the scoring when winger Jay Wilkes collected a beautifully weighted cross kick, from scrum half Jake Reynolds, and sprinted away from the covering Hove defence.

Full back Pat Gains picked up an injury in the opening minutes and had to be replaced by Grant Morris.

Ed Wilkes, not to be outdone by brother Jay, then found space through the Hove defence to score a great solo effort from deep in his own half. With less than ten minutes on the clock it looked as if the writing was on the wall for the visitors.

But Hove are not a team that gives up easily they battled hard to get a foothold in the game. They kicked a penalty to open their score and then after Steve Cruddas had been sent to the sin-bin for repeated team offences they worked a move close to the line to put centre Sam Whiting in for a score.

Havant hit back with a third score of their own. Jarryd Hayler powering over from close to the line.

Half-time Havant 15 Hove 8

The second half was a very stop-start affair with mistakes on both sides affecting the flow of the game but it was centre Ed Wilkes that secured the bonus point with his second try. Fly-half Pete Living looped his centre and hit Wilkes on a hard line which split the defence. Charlie Gardener added the conversion.

Hove grabbed a second as they pounced on a ball that squirted out of the back of the Havant scrum on the 5m line and Jake Reynolds was unable to clear it.

But Havant had the last word as they moved the ball along the line and Grant Morris found space on the right to score.

Havant will be pleased with the efficient performance that brought full points for the Hooks lane squad but will also be a little frustrated that they did not get more points on the board.

Head Coach Will Knight felt that his team had just done enough, “ We did make hard work of some elements of the game but if you can play within yourselves and come away with a 5 pointer then that isn’t too bad.”

“I had been telling the boys all week that Hove would be difficult to break down and they proved that today. They are a proud club in a difficult position at the moment but you know they will fight every step of the way.”

“There were some good performances for us today – again the pack caused their opponent lots of problems at the set piece but we just didn’t really find our rhythm.”

Havant travel to top of the table Wimbledon next week and will hope to push the league leaders very hard. Wimbledon were fortunate to grab a draw with the very last play of the game in their meeting earlier in the season.