H&B finally set to return

Action from H&B's hard-fought victory over Old Williamsonians in November's reverse fixture. Picture by Simon Newstead

Action from H&B's hard-fought victory over Old Williamsonians in November's reverse fixture. Picture by Simon Newstead

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Hastings & Bexhill Rugby Club is set to finally return to action after a five-week lay-off.

And head coach Kevin Smith believes overcoming Old Williamsonians away from home on Saturday could prove crucial in achieving promotion from Kent One this season.

H&B have dropped to third as a result of their inactivity. They are four points behind second-placed Cranbrook having played the same number of matches and 15 adrift of leaders Park House with two games in hand. Only the champions will gain automatic promotion, with the runners-up going into a play-off.

“We’ve got to bring a lot of enthusiasm and patience, and carry on where we left off against a top team,” said Smith. “Only time will tell if the lack of recent games will play a part.

“It’s a question of how bad we want it. How bad do we want to get promotion this year? The players in the first team have got to ask themselves questions and hopefully they’ll come up with the right answers.”

Both Old Williamsonians and H&B have secured victories in four of their last five games, and Smith knows the importance of this away fixture.

“We need to forget that we haven’t played for a month,” he added. “It’s not an excuse. Our players will come out fired up and will want to get rid of their frustrations in a controlled manor, and take the game to them.”

Rye Rugby Club’s ascent of the Sussex One table, meanwhile, will be challenged when they entertain fourth-placed Brighton II on Saturday. Rye produced an encouraging performance during their 18-20 reverse against Hove II last weekend.