Coach Mal relishing Vase chance to get back on track

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Eastbourne Rugby Club coach Mal Chumbley is relishing the challenge of this Saturday’s RFU Junior Vase home tie with Cranbrook.

“It’ll be nice to have a break from the league and play new opposition. Cranbrook have a similar record to us in the Kent league - starting strongly but losing a few games in recent weeks.

“We have a few bumps and bruises from last week’s tough clash at Hove but there are no additions to the long-term injury list,” explained the coach.

He told the Herald that although the result at Hove 11 last week (5-0 defeat) was disappointing he and the team were far from disheartened.

“We played aganst the elements in the first half and turned around just 5-0 down. We went on to dominate - controlling the set pieces and long periods of the game.

“It was an improvement on the previous week against Crawley but that vital score just would not come and we left empy-handed.

“Both sides tried to play rugby but it was a stop-start affair with a high penalty count against the hosts.

“We know we have to produce better game management and adjust our strategies at times like that, but it’s a learning process.”

Looking forward to Cranbrook’s visit to Park Avenue (2pm, if the game finishes all square there will be extra time) Chumbley will be hoping for a change of fortunes for the Blues and Golds.

“We are obviously capable of progressing in this competition but we must take on board lessons from these last few games.

“The players like it when there’s a good crowd so let’s hope there is a good turn out and we can give them something to shout about,” he said.

Eastbourne reached this stage of the competition with an excellent 19-11 victory at Sittingbourne.