Disappointment could be seen in the body language

Will Bettles
Will Bettles

Disappointment was evident among the Eastbourne Rugby Club team as they suffered a crushing 53-7 defeat at Ashford on Saturday.

It was a particularly bad day for Eastbourne, as the score line reflected. After seeing Dan Mills yellow-carded early on in the match, they went on to lose a handful of other players through injury, finishing with only 11 players on the field.

Manager Roger Stanley said, “It was a very disappointing result and performance, and I think Saturday was the first time this disappointment was absolutely visible in the body language of the players.”

The day hadn’t started well either, as the hosts had prepared for a 2:30 kick-off as opposed to Eastbourne’s belief it was a 3pm start, as it should have been.

Stanley said, “That didn’t help our preparation at all but we can’t say that’s the reason we lost.”

Stanley refuses to be despondent ahead of Eastbourne’s clash with mid-table Maidstone this weekend though.

“It gives us a chance to bounce back and I think we can do that. The lads have been training well and we’ll look for a fresh start on Saturday.

“We only take into account our most recent result and hopefully this weekend will give us a chance to improve that.”

Eastbourne will be without Joe Tobin, who picked up a hamstring strain during the defeat to Ashford. He’s expected to be sidelined for a couple of weeks along with Will Bettles, who suffered a back injury.

Tom Redman was also taken off at Ashford due to illness but he could be back in the squad on Saturday.

James Coulthard, Oli Brooks and Matt Finney are all expected to be available too.

Stanley said, “We’ve done quite well with injuries so far this year but we do have enough players to bring in and cover.”

ABOVE: Eastbourne will have to do without the attacking threat of the injured Will Bettles at Maidstone tomorrow