Blue and Golds in determined mood

Max Cheater returns
Max Cheater returns

Eastbourne Rugby Club coach Russ Atkinhead is preparing his troops to battle with the elements as well as the oppossiton tomorrow.

The Blue and Golds have enjoyed an unbeaten start to their Sussex Spitfire League campaign and will hope to continue that wining streak against Brighton at Park Avenue.

Atkinhead’s preparations have suffered somewhat as his side have not played for two weeks.

Two weeks agao Crowborough failed to raise side and Eastbourne were awarded a 50-0 victory. Last weekend Atkinhead’s men were also forced to sit out as they received a bye in the Junior Vase.

While it has given them a chance to work on areas of their play in training, Atkinhead insists there is nothing like the momnentum of playing especially during the early stages of the season.

“It has been a very frustrating two weeks. It puts us a slight disadvantage because ideally you want minutes on the pitch.

“That’s how players gain confidence and momentum.

“We are still confident that we can win this league. Brighton will be a tough matchfor us. Over the years Brighton have always played a big part in who wins this league.

“If you can beat beat Brighton then you have a good chance of winning the title. That will be our incentive and that will be the aim for Saturday.”

Saturday marks the beginning of a tough sequence of games for the Blue and Golds.

After the Brighton match the face a mouth watering derby against local rivals Seaford before they take on the powerful unit of Crawley.

“We are looking forward to October and we want to make sure we are at our best for these matches. It’s an exciting for the club and we can’t wait to get back in the action.”

Atkinhead has been working with his players this week and tweeked the game plan slightly to prepare for the wetter conditions.

The emphasis will be shorter more compact passing and the coach has stressed the importance of improved ball handling skills in the wetter weather.

Atkenhead added, “Power and strength comes more into play this time of year. The pace is slightly less and you have to make sure the kicking game is working well.

“You want to be playing as much in the oppositions teritory as possible. It’s important to put them under pressure and force the mistakes.”

Prop Matt Webb is unavailable for the Brighton match so Sussex County player Liam Goldsmith will return to the side.

Utility back Max Cheater, who has suffered achillies and ankle problems, makes a welcome return from injury and is also availble for selection.

“It’s good to have these guys back. It makes a huge difference to the streength of the squad.

“It’s a big chance for them to claim a first team spot so let’s hope they can take it.”