Havant v Gravesend Match Report
Havant slumped to another defeat in Kent in a game that that was not for the faint hearted.
Playing into the strong breeze Havant knew that it was important that their discipline and precison was good otherwise the opposition would take full advantage.
Gravesend showed Havant just how good discipline needed to be when they knocked over the a penalty on the halfway line. The first try came from a high kick upfield by the home side that was alllowed to bounce by the Havant defence – this proved costly as the ball bounce away from the vsitors and into the hands of the chasing Gravesend winger.
Havant started play with a little more shape and it looked as if they were getting on top when Gravesend has a player sin binned for a dleiberate knock on. Fly-half Dave Sweeney was finding gaps in the home defence and looked dangerous.
Gravesend weathered the storm and using the strong breeze kicked deep into the Visitors 22m and from a driven maul Havant flanker, Nick Goodger, was adjudged to have brought it down and was sent to the sin bin. The visitors made their numbers count at the next scrum as their No8 picked and drove over for a coverted score.
Havant scored next after Ben Brierley smashed his way upfield and offloaded to Grant Morris for a well worked try converted by Joel Knight. At 17-7 the visitors would have been looking good going into the second half. But two inutes of madness and a lack of concentation gifted the home side two easy scores and they lead at the break 29-7.
At the start of the second half Havant were struggling to find any set piece possession and the ball that they did have was forced and rushed. Gravesend were playing smart rugby using their big pack to carry the ball around the fringes and keep possession.
Gravesend picked another 3 points from a debatable late tackle accentuated by an elaborate overreaction from the Gravesend player.
Gravesend finished the game with 14 players after their No8 and skipper was sent from the field for a clear punch.
On a difficult day for both packs it was the home side that mastered the conditions better and were the more streetwise, Havant played too much of the game starved of any quality possession which ultimately rendered their potent backs ineffective.
There will need to be a significant improvement before they take on Brighton in next weeks home fixture.