Blue and Golds ready to scrap for elusive first win

Will bettles
Will bettles

Eastbourne Rugby coach Roger Stanley insists his side have to show mental strength if they are to record their first win of the season against Bromley tomorrow.

The Blue and Golds are still awaiting an elusive victory after suffering a 29-12 defeat at London South East three leaders Horsham last week.

Stanley’s men competed well in the match and were in with a chance of victory when the scores were at 19-12.

But Eastbourne missed a crucial penalty just before half-time and after that Stanley said he was disappointed to see his players head’s drop.

Horsham went on to win the game in relative comfort as Eastbourne were unable to add to their first half total.

Stanley said, “I think that missed penalty was a turning point. It was an easy penalty and when we missed it I could see our heads drop and the body language of the players changed.

“It was disappointing as we were still in with a chance of winning but after three defeats the confidence levels are not there.

“We desperately need a win and we are going to have to scrap to get that.”

Bromley are the visitors to Park Avenue tomorrow and they arrive on the back of a comprehensive 90-11 victory against London South East three whipping boys Crawley.

Crawley, like Eastbourne, have lost every match but they have an unenviable points difference of -200 after three matches.

Stanley added, “We always seem to face teams on an apex of confidence after playing Crawley.

“Hopefully they (Bromley) will arrive here in complacent mood rather than full of confidence.

“We know it will be a tough game. This division is very competitive and we are going to have to fight for everything this season. We have not had the best of starts but I can see signs of improvement.”

One of the few highlights of a disappointing campaign to date has been the emergence of jet-heeled young winger Will Bettles. The teenage flyer produced a try scoring man of the match performance at Horsham last week.

Stanley added, “He is very quick and very strong and good in contact.

“We believe he can be a very good player for us and has the potential to have a good season.”

The Eastbourne head coach was also on a scouting mission at the University of Brighton on Wednesday with an eye to strengthening his squad.

While watching the freshers trials He added, “There are a few good players here. The university is a good place to spot talent. Hopefully we can add a few to our first team squad and also to the second and the thirds as well.”

PROBABLE LINE-UP: Baron, Imich, Johns, Turner, Brooks, Stratford, Redman, Tobin, Davie, Baldwin, Bettles, Coultard, Cheater, Everett, Keen. Subs: Fenner, Webb, Wilmott.