Muddy battle ends in defeat
Rye Rugby Club kicked-off the new year with an away defeat on a mudbath of a pitch on Saturday.
The New Roaders were beaten 38-12 by Hove II in a Sussex One fixture which went ahead at the second time of asking have been postponed last month.
Stand-in Rye captain Alfie Chapman said: “It started off playable, but where we were stamping all over it and it started raining again when we were playing, it was just a mudbath.
“By half time you couldn’t tell what players were from what team really and it was just a slugfest. We didn’t adapt to the conditions and we just couldn’t get anything going.”
The pitch which the match was supposed to have been played on was waterlogged so the contest was moved to Hove’s extravagantly sloping third team pitch.
Hove - whose first team game was cancelled - played with the slope in their favour during the first half and opened up a 17-0 advantage. Two of Hove’s three first half tries came shortly before the break, which proved a real blow to Rye’s chances.
The hosts stretched their advantage after the restart, although Rye had the consolation of scoring a couple of tries which took their league points tally for the season into three figures.
Rye’s tries came in quick succession after the 50-minute mark and both were scored by Chris Challinor, nicknamed ‘Rhino’ by his team-mates for his powerful build, on his return to the side.
Challinor dived over for his first score from a rolling maul formed off the back of a lineout and Gary Edmunds kicked a difficult conversion in the conditions. The second try also came from a lineout, although this time the ball was popped to Challinor and he powered through several tackles to score from 10-15 metres out.
Darren Wolfe and John Smith also had good games for a Rye side which was glad to blow away the cobwebs having not played since December 6.
Rye: Chapman, Blackford, Challinor, D. Smith, Wolfe, J. Smith, Foster, Martin, Conneely, Nobbs, Hassall, Edmunds, Clark, Malyon, Finn. Replacements: Bull, Brown, Barker.
Rye remain second-bottom of the table going into the visit from fifth-placed Brighton II this coming Saturday. Kick-off at New Road is 2.15pm.
“We’re just playing for a bit of pride and to do the league justice as well,” added Chapman. “A lot of teams in our position just pull out of the league, but we want to keep playing and if we get relegated, at least we can say we played as many games as we could.”