Monkey’s lifted off Blue & Golds’ back after first loss

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Always one to focus on the positives, Eastbourne Rugby Club coach Mal Chumbley insists their first defeat of the season can help his players relax and come back stronger in the future.

Eastbourne surrendered their 100 percent record this season with defeat to fellow high-flyers Burgess HIll, who knocked the Blue and Golds off their perch at the peak of the Sussex One following their 34-10 win on Saturday.

However, every cloud has a silver lining and Chumbley believes the loss may help relieve any pressure on his men.

He said, “The loss allowed us to get the monkey off our backs of that 100 percent record.

“That was always hovering over us and the players added a pressure to themselves to keepthat up, but now they can relax.

“If we’d lost to a mid-table team, we’d be scratching our heads a bit more but we knew Burgess Hill are a strong side.

“It wasn’t a great performance from us particularly. Our team was down to its bare bones with injury and unavailability and we had a lot of players playing out of position.

“That led to a bit of naviety in the first half as they weren’t familiar with those positions but you have to pay that price.

“It was disappointing to lose and there was an awful lot of frustration, from players and management. We were on the receiving end of some very unusal decisions by the referee, who was perhaps influenced by a vocal and hostile home crowd.

“It wasn’t all doom and gloom though. To score two tries and concede none in the second half showed great character and now will be a good test to see how we recover.”