Response proves rest was right decision

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Eastbourne Rugby Club first team coach Mal Chumbley has praised his players’ response after returning from their Christmas break but insisted fitness will need to be improved for the games ahead.

The Blue and Golds romped to a 38-0 victory over Newick on Saturday - their fourth match so far this season without conceding a single point - to leave Chumbley certain that his decision to give them a three week break free from training was the right one.

He said, “It was definitely a good response to the break.

“In the build-up to the game, although fitness may have slipped a little bit, the players said the rest was good and they felt much more refreshed, so it was the right decision to make.

“Everyone feels a bit sluggish after Christmas and the heavy pitch takes its toll, but it’s not a real concern of ours.

“Newick were strong and battled hard and I’d say it was a better performance from us than when we beat them 72-0.”

This weekend, Eastbourne host a Holbrook side who managed to hold Chumbley’s men to their tightest margin of victory so far this season, with the Blue and Golds just edging a 13-19 win when they previously met.

Chumbley said, “They were one of our early away games this season and we ended up grinding out the result in the end.

“We’ve grown as a team and as individuals since we played them but then so has everybody else.”