Heathens lose to Havant
By Darren Long
Spirited first half performance but Havant just too strong!
It certainly felt like the gods were against us today, with Jayden out injured, James sick and the M27 closed we managed to muster only ten for the pre-match training. This was bolstered to twelve with the arrival of Connor and Fin and at least we could start a match. Due to the lack of numbers we had to switch players around considerably and with three borrowed Havant players we were ready to kick off on the new 4g pitch.
From the kick off Daniel claimed the ball with a good catch and made some good ground, unfortunately we were turned over and Havant played simple rugby and made it over our try line after about four phases. Defending around the ruck was poor today and will need to be worked on. The conversion was successful so the score was 7-0 to Havant.
It didn’t take long for Havant to get their second try of the match. This time it was a little harder with tackles going in from Josh, Dom and George but again some weak defence allowed them to run through the middle before shipping the ball right and scoring. Missed conversion, 12-0 to Havant.
The restart saw a good kick from Jake and also a good chase, this put Havant under pressure and a knock on gave us a scrum on their 10 metre line. The scrum wasn’t as solid as it could have been but Zack managed to get the pass out to Jake where it was passed quickly between Will, Blue and onto the borrowed Havant player on the wing. This was a promising move but the accuracy wasn’t quite there and a knock on resulted in a Havant scrum.
Havant went through a few phases but some good counter rucking from Heathens led to Havant giving away a penalty. Jake made a good touch and a good line out take from Josh allowed Heathens to shift the ball through the backs out to the wing. The Havant player ran over the line and towards the posts, which made for an easy conversion. Score was now 12-7.
Heathens were dominating now and with a quick tap penalty from Jake, he made about 20m before giving the ball to Will who again passed out to the Havant winger in support. It looked like we were going to score but Jakes next pass was intercepted and we had to back track to the half way line. A clever kick from Havant saw us pick up possession near our own posts where Dom made a clearing kick. Havant ran the ball back strongly to our 22m line and again kept it simple needing just another four phases straight through the middle in order to score. The conversion was missed, 17-7.
Oscar had now arrived and was on for the restart. He came charging out of the blocks like Usain Bolt on speed and made a great hit on the Havant player who had caught the ball from the kick. Oscar then got back on his feet and drove over the ball, allowing Josh to pick up and go. From the ruck it was good hands from Jake, Will and Blue, who again found our borrowed winger and ran in for our second try. Conversion missed, 17-12.
The kick off landed in Oscar’s hands and a good strong run followed, gaining about 30m. Dom picked up from the ruck and passed to Will who gave a deft offload to our borrowed winger and Heathens were in for their third try. The conversion was missed but the scores were now level at 17-17. The half time whistle blew and we had just had a great 30 mins of rugby.
The second half was a completely different story, unforced errors and some extremely dodgy refereeing from Jack meant we never gained any momentum. The change-over of the borrowed Havant players worked against us too and Havant ran away with it. Final score 46-17.
It wasn’t all bad news. There were some excellent tackles by Connor at full back, especially considering the size of the opposition. Fin and Toby carried well but both experienced brutal tackles. The line out worked well with George and Lewis’ lifting technique spot on and Josh putting in tackle after tackle. Despite this not being the strongest Havant side, they were still big and strong. It was a great work out with players changing positions and the new guys fitting in well. Let’s hope we can get full attendance for the SF against Romsey in April.
Dom was awarded MotM for his runs. Training should go ahead on Wednesday followed by another training session at home on Sunday.