Confident Blue and Golds ready to take on all-comers

editorial image

After three wins on the bounce, Eastbourne Rugby Club coach Roger Stanley reckons his side can take on all-comers.

Stanley concedes that a top-three finish is unlikely, but knocking one of the leading teams down a peg or two would be of some consolation.

But for now, the Blue & Golds have an away trip to mid-table Medway on the agenda, in London and South East division three.

The coach said, “After a win with a bonus point last weekend in difficult conditions, confidence in the side is high but it’ll be tough this weekend.

“Medway are about our position in the league, we beat them earlier in the season, but they are a much harder prospect at their place. Medway are probably playing better at home than they did away.”

Beating the Kent side is important, but if the side are to meet Stanley’s expectations and attain a fourth-placed finish, next month’s clash with Crowborough is crucial. Already, it’s a game the coach is looking forward to.

“Crowborough is a biggy for us,” he said, “we’re really looking forward to testing ourselves against the better teams.

“It’s always good to play the top teams - you can get into bad habits against the weaker teams, although there aren’t very many in this league.

“I think the top three are going so well, they’re not catchable, so we’re aiming for top four.”

Crowborough currently sit second, so it is Folkestone in fourth and Park House in sixth who will challenge Eastbourne for that spot.

A victory for the Blue & Golds tomorrow (2.15pm kick-off) would keep them hot on Folkestone’s heels.

Stanley added, “It’s nice to have some momentum. At the beginning of the season it was a bit up and down but there’s a good feeling at the moment. Three of our four sides won last Saturday and the seconds had a narrow defeat.”

Matt Webb picked up a minor injury in training during the week and is only fit enough to start on the bench, so James Stevenson will come in a prop, while in the backs James Coulthard misses out with a shoulder complaint.

EASTBOURNE: Baron, Oakey, Stevenson, Mottram, Tobin, Benniman, Buttle, Groenen, Keen, Walker, Smith, Williams, Clark, Everett, Butler.