H&B coach: We’ve proven we can compete at this level

Two Hastings & Bexhill players combine to make a tackle during last weekend's 14-14 draw away to Folkestone. Picture courtesy Nigel Baker

Hastings & Bexhill coach Chris Brooks believes the rugby club has already proven it can compete at its new level.

Last season’s Kent One champions have won two and drawn one of their first three London Three South East fixtures to top the early league table, albeit having played a game more than most clubs.

Tom Waring slides over for a try against Folkestone. Picture courtesy Nigel Baker

Brooks said: “I think we’ve proven we can exist at this level. There are more tough games to come and it’s very early, but if we can maintain the same sort of quality then we should do okay.”

H&B have struggled in their last couple of attempts at London Three rugby in recent seasons, but the early signs this time around seem far more encouraging.

“I’m not going to get too aspirational,” continued Brooks. “We’ll see how things go as the season goes on. I think a mid-table finish will be a great reflection of how far we’ve come; anything above that will be a bonus.”

H&B will be targeting a third home win out of three when they host the 2016/17 Kent One runners-up Old Williamsonians tomorrow (Saturday).

“That’s going to be a tough game in itself,” added Brooks. “They’re going to be smarting from that game last season because that really could’ve gone either way and we got the rub in the last minutes. I’m expecting them to be on fire.”

Steve McManus and Joe Umpleby are unlikely to be fit, and Harry Walker is expected to play his final game before heading off to university. Kick-off is 3pm.

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