Pre-season feel for rugby club

Hastings & Bexhill head coach Kevin Smith
Hastings & Bexhill head coach Kevin Smith

Hastings & Bexhill Rugby Club head coach Kevin Smith has admitted things have a pre-season feel at the moment.

A flooded pitch at King’s College Hospital last Saturday meant a second successive postponement, despite best efforts being made to secure a 3G ‘all-weather’ surface for the Kent One game.

“We’re twiddling our thumbs,” Smith admitted. “It feels like we’re starting the campaign all over again. The only good thing about being ring-rusty is that we’re not the only team in this position.

“King’s did their best last week, but the pitch didn’t hold up. We were going to offer to play it at our place, but our surface wasn’t up to it either. It’s nobody’s fault.”

H&B have continued to train twice a week, with their only game since Christmas being the slim home defeat to Beccehamian back on January 5. On Saturday, the side hosts second-from-bottom Southwark Lancers - depending on the weather - and Smith will be hoping to take some revenge having lost the reverse fixture.

“We lost 22-21 back in October,” Smith continued. “It was a very close game, and I expect the same this time.” The Sussex Shield semi-final against Hellingly is now scheduled for February 23.

Although four players were injured during Rye Rugby Club’s friendly defeat to Thurrock last weekend, the team are hoping to have a clean bill of health for the rearranged Sussex One match at Holbrook on Saturday. Gary Edmunds, Darren Piper, Alfie Chapman and Pete Brown were all replaced after knocks, albeit mainly as a precaution rather than anything serious.

Bad weather stopped the fixture originally going ahead on January 19. Holbrook have lost both their games in 2013 so far and sit in eighth place. Dave Smith and John Smith are both unavailable for third-placed Rye.