Rye Rugby Club produced a second half super show to clinch an ultimately emphatic victory on Saturday.
The New Roaders scored 39 points after the turnaround to win 51-17 away to an Eastbourne side which finished the Sussex Division Two match with 13 men.
“I was very proud of our players,” said Rye coach Jeremy Nobbs, who was pleased with his team’s discipline. “I thought they played very well, particularly in the second half.”
Rye made the trip west for their first contested game in four weeks with an 18-man squad and a closely-contested first half ended level at 12-12.
Playing up the slight slope in the first half, Rye started briskly and drew first blood with a try scored by Tom Martin and converted by Chris Edwards. Eastbourne replied with a converted try of their own.
Rye were enjoying pretty good possession and their set-pieces were working well, but the recent spell of inactivity had caused a bit of rustiness to creep into the back line and a few tryscoring opportunities went begging.
An Alex Turner try put Rye 12-7 ahead only for Eastbourne to square things up again shortly before half time.
Rye called for more precision and accuracy in attack, and better defensive systems and tackling in defence during the second half, and it wasn’t long before they started to take control.
They went in front once more when a well-worked passage of backs’ play with good offloading and support play resulted in a try for Gary Edmunds which he converted himself, 19-12.
An unconverted try scored by John Smith stretched Rye’s advantage to 24-12. Eastbourne’s scrum-half was then yellow carded for several professional fouls and his subsequent comments to the referee saw the yellow replaced by a red.
Shortly after that the home number eight had to leave the field injured and with no replacement available, Eastbourne were down to 13 men for the rest of the game.
The floodgates duly started to open as Rye cut loose. Martin and Turner went over for their second tries of the game, and Charlie Clark scored a very good following a powerful run through the centres.
With Eastbourne’s depleted ranks tiring, Rye were by now scoring almost at will. Gregg Phillips also touched down before Clark crossed the whitewash for his second try.
Eastbourne performed gamely all the way through, though, and nabbed a consolation try right at the end after a period of slack Rye defending.
The Harris & Rigby man of the match was Turner, who impressed everyone with a barnstorming display.
Harry Ames, who will shortly turn 18, had a very good game at blind side flanker, as did Liam Booth, deputising at number eight in the absence of Rory Creavin.
The whole pack played very well, notably Josh Malyon in the front row, and Clark was very impressive as the backs started to show what they’re made of during the second half.
Rye will contest their first home game since the opening day of the season when they entertain Pulborough II tomorrow (Saturday). Kick-off is 3pm.
“The club’s still in a rebuilding phase; we’re trying very hard to get new people down there and old players back,” added Nobbs.
The club welcomes players or all experience in all positions. Training takes place on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, and you can find out more on the club’s Facebook page.
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