Smith proud despite heavy loss

Hastings & Bexhill Rugby Club's under-12s in action at the club's annual Minis Festival on Sunday

Hastings & Bexhill Rugby Club's under-12s in action at the club's annual Minis Festival on Sunday

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Hastings & Bexhill Rugby Club head coach Kevin Smith was proud of his players’ effort despite a 55-5 defeat away to table-topping Bromley.

London Three South East leaders Bromley showed real class; the lines of running in the three quarters were incisive, thanks to the quality ball provided by a pack which dominated proceedings, especially in the loose on Saturday.

Smith said: “You look at the score and think ‘what a drubbing’, but I’m very proud of the players’ effort. We made them work for their tries and were camped on their line at the end. If you’ve given everything and been beaten by a better team, you can’t beat yourself up.”

Bromley spent the first 20 minutes in the visitors’ half and came away with two converted tries in almost identical positions in the corner.

Although under great pressure, H&B defended well but the penalty count against them at the breakdown was high, reflecting the dominance that Bromley enjoyed. Bromley secured the four-try bonus point before half time, which they arrived at leading 26-0.

A further try in the corner five minutes after the break extended Bromley’s lead. At this point many a team would have folded, but H&B are made of sterner stuff and full-back Tom Waring and no.8 John Hanagarth both looked the part.

They always sought to play rugby and were rewarded with a Hanagarth try from a rolling maul to open their account. However, they had no answer to the relentless pace of the Bromley attack and further tries put the unbeaten hosts out of sight.

Elsewhere on Saturday, Rye Rugby Club was beaten 22-14 at home to Seaford in Sussex One. Tom Foster and Rory Creavin scored the tries, both of which was converted by Gary Edmunds.