Rye put to the sword in seven-try hammering

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With Sussex 1 leaders Burgess Hill being held to a narrow victory by Holbrook, a stirring Eastbourne performance enabled the Blue & Golds to sneak an important bonus point advantage over the table toppers.

The match was marred by the horrendous injury to skipper Joe Tobin ten minutes into the game which delayed proceedings by 15 minutes as the match was moved to a side pitch at the Park Avenue ground while Tobin was being treated by medics.

The disruption only served to galvanise Eastbourne who worked doubly hard to scure a seven try victory.

When play was restarted, two quick penalties from Nathan Ring put Eastbourne onto the front foot.

On the half hour, Eastbourne were given the put-in at a five metre scrummage and No. 8 Luke Turner was able to crash over. Ring’s conversion was inevitable and from the start of the second half, Eastbourne were able to turn the screw.

Turner’s driving in both the loose and tight game was simply inspirational; behind him Coulthard and Ring looked the class players that they are.

After 15 minutes Couthard’s grubber kick led to a foot race once the ball crossed the line and this was won easily by Eastbourne winger Luke Sage.

Shortly after, a soaring line-out catch by Curtis led to a driving maul and Dan Keen being rewarded with a typical prop forward’s try.

The final quarter provided a decent crowd with the best rugby of the day.

No.8 Turner crowned his best performance with two further tries; Nathan Ring ran through four tackles to score brilliantly and even Matt Mottram was able to get into the act with a try of his own.

With Ring adding three conversions in the second half the final score was a true reflection of the dominance of the home side. With a three week lay-off over Christmas, the side can look forward to the new year with confidence

Eastbourne: Barron Bettles Keen Tobin Mottram Redman Light Turner Aitkenhead Cousins Sage Ring Stevenson Fenner Coulthard Chilvers Curtis Oakey.