You’d be hard-fetched to find a more perfect afternoon for Eastbourne Rugby Club than this past Saturday.
The sun was shining, the atmosphere was thriving and, for the first time in a long while, the performance on the pitch provided something to smile about too as the Blue and Golds ran circles around a visiting Newick team to record a thumping 72-0 victory.
For an Eastbourne side who spent the entirety of last season on the receiving end of such emphatic defeats, the win gave good reason to celebrate as they cemented their place at the top of the Sussex Spitfire One table.
The home side didn’t waste any time in getting off the mark in their first encounter at Park Avenue this season, opening their account as early as the fifth minute and doubling the score just a few moments later.
That set the ball rolling for what was to be an outstanding 40 minutes for Eastbourne. James Coulthard and Nick King combined superbly for the third try of the match, the latter getting the touchdown before coming off injured with a slight hamstring strain.
As the half ticked on, Eastbourne continued to pile the misery on Newick with Adam Tennant, Coulthard, Matthew Webb and Tom Redman all scoring to impose a 38-point deficit.
But, they weren’t done there. Before the half was over, the hosts notched two further tries and a conversion to ensure they held a huge 50-point advantage heading into the interval.
If the first half was a lesson in scoring, the second was one of defending as Eastbourne continued to deny Newick any chance of a point, despite their continued albeit half-hearted efforts.
Even with their foot off the gas, Eastbourne continued to display their dominance going forward, steam-rolling Newick with a further three tries to finish up eventual 72-0 victors.
The performance – one that mixed impressive individual displays with a solid team determination – continued Eastbourne’s 100 percent start to the season following their victory over Lewes seconds last week.
Director of rugby and first team coach Mal Chumbley said, “Obviously we’re delighted with the performance and a strong result. The hard work of the players in training is paying off on the field and that gains them some confidence.
“We’re building a strong second team as well to give us competition for places, which is always important. Today was a great result but we’re always looking for the boys to keep raising their performance until we get to the level where we feel the club should be.”
Club Chairman Fraser Brooks added, “I’m delighted for the spectators and really, really proud of the players.”
MOM: Luke Turner