Logistics are crucial for Chichester clash

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Eastbourne Rugby Club coach Mal Chumbley insists the focus is firmly on this weekend’s clash against Chichester and not the two crucial games that follow it.

While attentions are easily drawn to the potentially title-deciding clash with Burgess Hill and the RFU Junior Vase meeting with Beccehamians that was postponed last weekend, Chumbley has assured fans that the players’ concentrations will be solely on the opposition they face this Saturday.

He said, “It will be a long journey there and we need make sure we get the logistics right, turn up with plenty of time to ensure we have the best preparation for the game.

“We will have the same approach as always and, no matter what games we have after this, we prepare for the game this coming Saturday and, after that, the next Saturday and so on.”

The Blue and Golds travel to third-placed Chichester still hoping to bounce back from their second loss of the season, which was inflicted by Hove III a fortnight ago.

And Chumbley expressed his disappointment they missed the chance to do that this weekend with their cup clash being called off due to a waterlogged pitch.

He added, “We were very disappointed the game couldn’t go ahead. We went quite far afield to look for other pitches to play it on but there were none available.

“We had our strongest team ready and we were keen to get out there.

“But, we can’t control these things. We won’t focus on the weather, or the referee, just on our own performance. “

Due to the nature of the competition, the RFU Junior Vase match must be played as soon as possible, meaning the club and the league have made the decision to host Beccehamians on February, 16 and move their domestic fixture with Burgess Hill back to February, 23.

Despite his men having had an extra week rest, Chumbley is still expected to rotate his squad in an attempt to bring more players up to first-team standard.

However, the coach is wary of this affecting their league form and knows he must find the appropriate balance to allow the Blue and Golds to continue their dominance.

He said, “We will need to keep the rotation going to make sure they development and progress we’ve made with certain players doesn’t slow down.

“Obviously we don’t want to jeopardise our potential performances and so, if we start incurring defeats from our own making by putting players into the team that aren’t up to it yet, then we will need to change something.

“It’s a balancing act between not wanting to affect our progress and not losing our confidence.

“We had a good training session during the week though and hopefully we can go to Chichester and get a result.”