After a convincing display in their opening fixture the Blue and Golds expected to outmuscle and and outrun their lowly East Sussex opponents who they easily beat last season away and at home.
With a few changes due to injury and also due to the coaching policy of re-cycling certain positions, both Charlie Smith and Dan Keen came on to start the match. Within two minutes a solid scrum had produced quick ball for Matt Pysden to release his backs for a first try by James Coulthard.
But only four minutes into the game a nasty incident on the right wing saw a Rye player red-carded and Tom Shuttleworth sent to the sin-bin for ten minutes.
Great attacking runs by Tom Redman saw him touch down almost immediately. James Coulthard converted.
Eastbourne were scoring at will with great support work and some devastating runs by the backs. Charlie Smith and No. 7 Steff Cousins- a great poacher of the ball at the best of times- touched down for further tries. A good run by Adam Tennant saw Charlie score yet again.
Eastbourne were clearly too quick and too fit for their opposition hampered by their loss of a player, their poor scrum and their flagging stamina.
Redman, Charlie Smith and Nathan Ring- as aggressive and dangerous as ever- added to the mounting score-line.
At half-time Eastbourne led by 48 points.
After the interval as Eastbourne charged towards the home side’s try-line, great support by Matt Mottram saw winger Nick King, both vigorous in attack and solid in defence, touched down under the posts.
And skipper Steve Clarke sliced through the opposition to add another five pointer, duly converted .
At this point Eastbourne appeared to take their foot off the pedal and ten minutes into the half Rye ran in a try through some sloppy defending. The try was converted.
Adam Tennant ,Charlie Smith and James Coulthard added to the score-line as Rye made a late rally but were visibly tiring. Due to injury to the home side the scrums were no longer contested for the last minutes of the game.
This was an overwhelming victory, although Eastbourne were disappointed to concede a try and not reach a hundred points. Nevertheless, a number of moments stand out for the spectators: a great supporting run by Matt Mottram, a brilliant solo run by Nathan Ring, a bone-crunching tackle by Tom Shuttleworth, some superb line-kicks by James Coulthard and searing runs by Tom Redman.
A game memorable for excellent attacking moves and solid defence by backs and forwards.
Man of the Match: Tom Redman.
Team: Keen D., Shuttleworth, Imich, van Bentham, Mottram, Redman, Ring, Cousins, Pysden, Mackie, Smith, Tennant, Clarke, King, Coulthard, Keen P. Buttle, Brown.
Eastbourne are at home next week to Crowborough II’s. Kick-off 3 p.m.
See friday’s Herald for all the latest Rugby news.