Despite falling short to title rivals Cranbrook last weekend, Hastings & Bexhill RFC head coach Kevin Smith still feels his side can fight for promotion.
H&B suffered only their second defeat of the season with a 27-19 reverse in their shortest away trip and dropped from first to third in Kent One in the process.
“We hit a bump in the road,” said Smith. “They played with a far quicker tempo for the first 20 or 30 minutes and we were a bit wobbly for a little while. To be fair to Cranbrook, they played very well and, as I said last week, if they click they will be the team to beat.”
Smith is hoping for an immediate response when H&B visit third-bottom Sittingbourne tomorrow (Saturday), but will need to stay sharp against a team which has proven to be a handful at home.
“We really need to play a higher tempo of rugby. If we are in the top three by Christmas then I still think we’ve got a good chance of going up,” added Smith.
“The spirit in the camp is still good. The players want to play well and were disappointed with the loss, but we have to bounce back at Sittingbourne. Rugby, like any sport, is not just about victory. You’ve got to learn how to lose sometimes before you can appreciate winning.”
Standings (all played nine matches): 1 Park House 36pts, 2 Cranbrook 34, 3 HASTINGS & BEXHILL 32, 4 Southwark Lancers 30, 5 Vigo 26, 6 Old Williamsonians 22, 7 Old Gravesendians 22, 8 HSBC 17, 9 King’s College Hospital 13, 10 Sittingbourne 13, 11 Foots Cray 7, 12 Shooters Hill 7.