H&B eager to improve against Crowborough

Hastings & Bexhill Rugby Club will be eager to make amends for a disappointing early season defeat to Crowborough when the teams meet again tomorrow (Saturday).

Friday, 26th January 2018, 10:59 pm
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 12:16 am
Hastings & Bexhill in possession during their most recent fixture, a 37-0 win at home to Crawley two weeks ago. Picture by Justin Lycett

H&B will head to the north-east of the county aiming for an improvement on their 23-14 defeat in October’s reverse fixture at Ark William Parker Academy.

H&B are one position and two points above their opponents in the London Three South East table, with both clubs having won six of their opening 14 matches.

Head coach Chris Brooks said: “We certainly didn’t play that well against them at home. That’s not to take anything away from them; they’re a good, well-drilled squad, but we should’ve done better at home. I know the guys are very keen to make up the difference away from home.”

A victory tomorrow could move H&B into the top half if sixth-placed Old Williamsonians, who are three points above them, lose at home to third-placed Old Dunstonians. H&B are currently nine points above the bottom three.

“We have to perform in these mid-table clashes,” continued Brooks. “We’ve still got it all to play for. A poor slip-up here and there can put us down into the scrap against relegation. We can’t afford to lose our focus.

“I can never fault the will to win the guys have and I think man for man we’re as technically skilled as any of the teams we play. It’s down to focus on the day and game management.

“We need everyone to be out there not leaving anything on the park, and we need the leadership of the experienced players to kick in and read the game as well, which generally happens, but it’s that much more important as the season goes on.”

H&B were without a fixture last weekend having run out convincing 37-0 winners at home to bottom side Crawley on January 13.

The seconds were edged out 19-15 at home to Pulborough in Sussex Two Reserve last weekend and the thirds suffered a valiant 30-17 defeat away to St Francis seconds in a Sussex Vase/Salver East semi-final.

The seconds gave away quite a big lead to a strong Pulborough side during the first half, but came back well during the second period and were pressing the line for a potentially match-winning try until the end.

First team regulars Chaz Ackerley, Jack James and Jacob McDonough all had run-outs.

The seconds are at home to Heathfield & Waldron in a rearranged fixture tomorrow. Kick-off at William Parker is 2pm.