Crawley overcome play-off rivals Eastbourne

Crawley Rugby Club's Rob Gilliat SUS-140317-230859002
Crawley Rugby Club's Rob Gilliat SUS-140317-230859002

Crawley hosted Eastbourne in a battle to be in the play-offs.

The hosts found themselves with a scrum just five metres out in the early seconds. Kieron Gosling crossing the tryline with less than two minutes on the clock.

Eastbourne brushed aside this early error and quickly found some space to penetrate the Crawley defences to level the score.

Great communication and support play entertained the crowd from which Luke Wilson was able to convert into points out wide with two tries in quick succession and Richard Hewitt with a storming run between the posts just before half time.

Whatever was said to the visitors at half-time seemed to have worked as from the restart they dominated play for the next ten minutes and registered the first points of the half with a well worked passage of play out wide.

Crawley soon took more points when Rob Gilliat powered between the posts.

Blaise Salle added the next points for Crawley with a strong run from half way breaking several tackles on the way to make the visitors’ task unassailable.

From some broken play in front of the posts the visitors took the next points when some over exuberant defence left an easily exploited hole for their third try.

The game was not yet over, although the win looked out of their reach, another try for Eastbourne would give them the all important bonus point and still give them a glimmer of hope for the play-offs.

They threw all they had at the Crawley defences which held strong, another four man overlap just 15 metres out was wasted. As the home side became exhausted some defensive weaknesses started to appear.

With three more game left Crawley have to keep this momentum going to finish the season on a high. Some weakness has to be addressed at training in preparation for Saturday’s home defence against Hove.

Crawley: Garry, Mansfield, Riley, Gilliat, Attew, Theobald, Gosling, Burt, Searle, Cockram, Hewitt, Salle, S Wilson, L Wilson, Moffat.

Scorers: Gosling, L Wilson (2), Hewitt, Gilliat, Salle. Conversions: Cockram (3). Man of the Match: Moffat.

Pulborough II 33 Crawley II 27

Crawley second team narrowly lost to Pulborough this week after a twenty point half-time lead.

It was a gritty performance which saw senior debuts for several of the current Colts team and the welcome return from some of the more senior members.