H&B injury crisis still as bad

Action from the last meeting between Hastings & Bexhill and Pulborough in the 2013/14 Sussex Shield final at Heathfield & Waldron RFC

Action from the last meeting between Hastings & Bexhill and Pulborough in the 2013/14 Sussex Shield final at Heathfield & Waldron RFC

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Hastings & Bexhill might have had last weekend off, but the rugby club’s injury situation still hasn’t improved.

H&B are set to field another depleted side as they resume their London Three South East programme with a visit from Pulborough today (Saturday). Kick-off at ARK William Parker Academy is 2pm.

Head coach Kevin Smith said: “You would’ve thought the injury situation would’ve eased somewhat, but it’s still as bad as it was.”

In addition to the existing absentees, Max Foord-Paton is doubtful with ligament damage and captain Jimmy Adams is away as H&B prepare for an important game against Pulborough.

Both clubs were promoted last season, but Pulborough - who beat H&B by a point in the 2013/14 Sussex Shield final - are 12 points and two places better off than third-bottom H&B this term.

“We can only hope we can pull ourselves out of this bit of indifferent form we’re having and get ourselves a win,” continued Smith. “I would never ever doubt anybody who puts a Hastings shirt on and you never know, on the day it could click. I’ve got to be positive, but at the end of the day I’m a realist as well.”

Rye Rugby Club’s injured captain, meanwhile, has urged the team to ‘man up’ going into its final home game of 2014.

After being fixtureless last weekend, the New Roaders will entertain second-placed Hellingly in Sussex One today. Kick-off is 2pm.

“It’s going to be a tough day at the office it looks like,” said skipper Matt Cooke, whose shoulder injury now looks set to keep him out for the season. “They’re obviously on pretty good form and it looks like we’re going to be the underdogs yet again, which we’re used to by now.

“I think it’s a case of everyone stepping up and giving 80 minutes of all they’ve got. We’ve not produced a performance anywhere near what we’re capable of yet this year. The 15 people on the pitch are the only ones that can make it happen. People have got to take ownership of their positions and man up a bit.

“As it stands we’re firmly rooted to the bottom of the table and it’s going to take something special to change that. It’s not do or die time just yet, but it’s getting that way. It would be nice to get a win on the board before Christmas.”

Rye have lost their last eight league matches after an opening day draw, while surprise package Hellingly have won seven of their nine fixtures so far.