Coach urges players to stay positive ahead of Hove clash

Coach Mal Chumbley is keen for Eastbourne Rugby Club’s 1st XV to concentrate on the positives ahead of their trip to Hove II on Saturday.

The team’s recent winning run was brought to an abrupt end with a 7-5 defeat at home to Crawley last week, but the boss doesn’t want his players to dwell on that result and revealed an eagerness to bounce back this weekend.

“Last week we were inaccurate in a lot of what we did”, he said,

“We know, as a group, that no one else is to blame and we need to put it right.

“We don’t want to dwell on that disappointment, we need to identify where we’ve been good in recent weeks and focus on the positives.

“If we do what we’re good at and we iron out our sharpness issues and our unforced error issues I know we can bounce back.”

Last Saturday’s defeat was their first in eight games and the top of the Sussex Spitfire Division one is becoming increasingly tight as a result.

Crawley moved within a point of the Blue and Golds while Hove, Saturday’s opponents, are just a point ahead of Eastbourne. Victory would see them leapfrog Hove into second place.

Their opponents are a bit of an unknown quantity and the boss admitted he was unsure of what to expect.

Last season it was Hove’s third team who competed in the league but a reshuffle has seen them replaced by their seconds.

Eastbourne will once again be without centre Steve Clark, who is due to have an MRI scan and flanker Steffan Cousins is also ruled for the tie.

Nick King, who only returned to action recently suffered a re-occurrence of a thigh injury and will also miss the trip.

The boss revealed that he would use the opportunity as a chance to reshuffle the squad so there could be some changes.

Right: Keen to concentrate on the positive - Mal Chumbley