Disappointment is not something you’d expect to find at a club with a 100 per cent winning record so far this season.
But, for Eastbourne Rugby Club, the performance level bar has been set high and despite picking up the points to keep them challenging at the top of the table, the players remain critical.
The club recorded their fourth win out of four at the weekend as they saw off Midhurst 23-3 but first team coach Mal Chumbley reveals his men were still despondent after the final whistle.
“It’s strange at the moment because, although we’re winning, the boys come off the pitch disappointed with their performance.
“We’re not necessarily firing on all cyclinders and while it’s still enough to win, the players have adopted a self-critical attitude.
“I think that’s indicative of the progress they’ve made and it’s a remarkable change in attitude that’s so good to see.”
Chumbley was quick to praise his back pairing of Adam Tennant and James Coulthard, the latter of which picked up the man of the match accolade for his impressive display in the win over Midhurst.
Chumbley said, “We’ve moved James back a bit to give us a better balance and it seems to be working well.
“James and Adam have both performed consistently well so far this season and we will continue to try and work the team around them and just hope they stay injury free.
“Our back line has been solid so far this season. The problem we do have is working out how to convert a few more of our chances and possesion into tries, which is actually quite a nice problem to have.”
The commitment level at the club is a further key to their success and testament to the work that Chumbley has done since arriving at the club, which was displayed as a number of players took to the field with broken fingers last weekend.
“A couple of players have said that last season they would have sidelined themselves with these injuries but now they want to play.
“They don’t want to be left out of a winning team and that’s a fantastic attitude to have.”
It’s that positivity that is starting to attract players to the club, including a promising Japanese student known as ‘Sho’.
“He is a very talented youngster that really impressed in the second team last week. We are in talks about getting him registered to play in our first team, to which he’d be a great addition.”
Eastbourne take a break this weekend as other teams compete in the RFU Junior Vase, for which the Blue and Golds received a first-round bye.