Rugby club likely to be rusty

Hastings & Bexhill are likely to be rusty when they return to action after an extended festive break.

That’s the view of the rugby club’s head coach Kevin Smith as H&B prepare to visit Beccehamian tomorrow (Saturday) in their first Kent One match since December 3.

Although H&B were due to train on Tuesday and yesterday, Smith said: “I think we will be rusty, the players will blow after 15-20 minutes, and when they blow they will make mistakes and get lazy.”

Sign up to our daily SussexWorld Today newsletter

Beccehamian haven’t played for three weeks, but H&B have had an extra fortnight off because they were the odd one out of the division’s 13 sides on December 17 and had a walkover against Guy’s Hospital seven days before that.

“That might come back to bite us,” continued Smith, of the aforementioned walkover. “There’s no easy game in Kent One, we know that, but if we’re going to be rusty, it has to be against the bottom club.

“But that’s not giving them (the players) leeway to make mistakes. We’ve got to hit the ground running, we’ve got to beat the bottom side away and start as we mean to go on.”

It may be some five weeks ago now, but H&B’s last outing threw up their best result of the season as they triumphed 13-5 away to a title-chasing Dartfordians side.

H&B won seven of their 12 matches during the first half of the campaign to sit in fifth place having played fewer games than most of the other teams. One of those victories was a 21-13 success in September’s reverse fixture.

Elsewhere tomorrow, Rye RFC will play their first Sussex One game of 2012 away to Burgess Hill. The New Roaders enjoyed 2011 with back-to-back wins over leaders Pulborough and second-placed East Grinstead II.