Lesson learned for flying Blue and Golds

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Eastbourne Rugby Club coach Mal Chumbley believes his side are better equipped for their top-of-the-table clash with Burgess Hill after a learning-curve victory over Chichester III last weekend.

The Blue and Golds faced their toughest challenge yet when they hosted fourth-placed Chichester last Saturday but managed to edge out their rivals by 35 points to 24, despite trailing by 14 points after the opening 20 minutes.

However, Chumbley declares their win as the most pleasing of the season so far and insists it was a lesson they’ve learned from ahead of their clash with second-placed Burgess Hill on Saturday.

Chumbley said, “Chichester was the best side we’ve played this season but I think the win was deserved.

“We started really badly and after the first 15-20 minutes, they deserved the 14-point lead they had.

“The pleasing side of the day was that there wasn’t a panic, no capitulation like there might have been in previous years.

“We regrouped, realised we had to up our game and took control of the game.

“It was a good opportunity for me to see how we would react in that situation and I was really pleased with their response. “

This weekend, Eastbourne travel to a Burgess HIll side who are just one point behind them in the Sussex One table having won five and lost one, picking up a creditable seven bonus points along the way.

Chumbley said, “Chichester were a different type of opposition to what we’ve faced so far and it was a great learning curve for us that stands us in good stead for Saturday’s game.

“We played Burgess Hill in a pre-season friendly but this weekend will be another tough test for us.

“The top four teams in this division are all capable of comfortably beating the other teams but we will just go there and continue to try and play our own brand of rugby.”