Five more points should be enough, says H&B coach

Action from the reverse fixture between Hastings & Bexhill and tomorrow's opponents Thanet Wanderers back in November.
Action from the reverse fixture between Hastings & Bexhill and tomorrow's opponents Thanet Wanderers back in November.

Five points from the final four games should be enough for Hastings & Bexhill Rugby Club to avoid relegation, according to head coach Chris Brooks.

H&B are currently two places and seven points above a Folkestone side which occupies the last London Three South East relegation spot of third-from-bottom.

Brooks said: “I reckon another five points (the equivalent of a bonus point victory) is going to do it. That’s the minimum we have to do to scrape through, but of course we don’t want to do it like that and we want to get as many points as possible from all the remaining games.”

H&B still have to visit two of the top four, as well as a Park House team which is one position and one point below them having played an extra match. Their one remaining home fixture is against sixth-placed Lewes.

Folkestone still have home games against the two teams cast adrift at the bottom, as well as leaders Aylesford Bulls, plus a trip to seventh-placed Crowborough.

H&B face a tough trip to second-placed Thanet Wanderers tomorrow (Saturday), but can take heart from only losing by three points in November’s reverse fixture and their dramatic victory over third-placed Old Dunstonians last time out a fortnight ago.

“It’s not beyond our capability (to make it successive wins against top three opposition),” added Brooks. “As we’ve said before, on our day and with the right personnel, we can post a decent result against anyone in this league.

“It would be nice to get some points from the game, but it’s not really a game that’s going to influence us as much as some. We’ve got nothing to lose in this particular fixture.

“A few other people have run them close as well, although they’re clearly a very good outfit. We’re going to have to take our best game on the road with us and of course that very much depends on personnel.”

H&B should welcome back captain Joe Umpleby, but there are concerns over the fitness of key man Jimmy Adams.

Benefit from an ongoing discount on your Observer by joining our voucher membership scheme. Once you’ve subscribed, we’ll send you dated vouchers which can be exchanged for your paper at any news outlet. To save money on your Observer, simply click here (www.localsubsplus.co.uk)