Havant’s away trip was hastily re-arranged as a home game Friday afternoon after Marlborough’s Common was found to be still frozen and unplayable.
Will Knight’s selection was relatively unchanged from the top of the table draw the previous week. With James Wise making his 50th appearance in Blue and White hoops.
The faithful again filled the Lane in numbers with a click count of 472, not bad for less than 24 hours notice! (thanks Grumpies).
The game itself was a bruiser with the big Marlborough “south seas” players smashing into tackles from the off. The game only a couple of minutes old when their pack rumbled to the try line for the first score of the game.
Havant however held their composure and played their game, creating holes in the Marlborough defence.
With Havant’s own rolling maul effective, man of the match Sean Shepherd rolled off the back of it to level the scores.
Havant hammered on the Marlborough line on more than one occassion in the first half, but Marlborough held firm, the game looked to be level going into half time, but the yellow cards Marlborough took for high shots were taking their toll and Havant exploited the space. Armandus Morgan was on the back of another rolling maul and Havant were in front. With time in the red, the backs created the next try with some great work, Tam Lindsay finishing off the move.
Half-time Havant 19 Marlborough 7
Two quick tries inside the opening ten minutes of the 2nd half had Marlborough reeling. First Sean Shepherd barrelled over for his thirteenth try of the campaign then he was try maker with a lung bursting run and pass to James Wise on the wing. Havant led 31-7.
Wes Dugan was next to score as Havant looked to run riot. Marlborough could not keep pace with wave after wave of attacks.
Havant then had their usual ten minute nap allowing two well worked tries for Marlborough. Making the score 36-19. Harsh words were said behind the posts!
Another late show from Havant saw them extend their lead further with Jez Smith and James Wise adding to Havant’s tally of tries.
Full-time Havant 50 Marlborough 19
Will Knight’s thoughts after the game
“ Thanks to Marlborough it’s never easy to change your plans last minute. They came at us hard and had some quality players who showed early how dangerous they could be.
We were a bit individual in the first quarter but settled after that and I felt when we played our patterns we were able to exert control.
In the end it was a comfortable win but they never gave up and were a threat for the full 80.”