Fus­sell up­beat de­spite cup loss

CAP­TAIN’S TWO TRIES IN VAIN AS ASH­FORD FALL AT FIRST HUR­DLE

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Sport -

Rhys Fus­sell scored two tries as Ash­ford went out of the RFU In­ter­me­di­ate Cup at the first hur­dle in West Sus­sex on Satur­day.

Henry Hall’s penalty put them 3-0 up early on but Ash­ford paid the price for a poor 15-minute spell and trailed 22-3 in­side the open­ing half hour, in the first of three meet­ings be­tween the two Lon­don South East 2 ri­vals this sea­son,

New skip­per Fus­sell ad­mit­ted; “We didn’t wake up and gave them two early tries and then con­ceded penal­ties in the sec­ond half due to poor dis­ci­pline.”

New sign­ing South African cen­tre Josh Sheren marked his de­but with a try be­fore half-time.

Fus­sell grabbed his two scores af­ter the break, winger Chris Baker set up the first with a 40-me­tre break, be­fore pass­ing in­side.

How­ever, the home

side then HOR­SHAM ASH­FORD ex­tended their lead with two con­verted tries of their own.

For­mer skip­per Peter Walsh’s kick ahead started the move for Fus­sell’s sec­ond try, the skip­per kept the ball mov­ing in sim­i­lar fash­ion be­fore scoop­ing it up and div­ing over the line.

Fus­sell was still in pos­i­tive mood, de­spite the de­feat, adding: “We were good in open play and when the ball was in our hands.”

Ash­ford be­gin their league cam­paign with a trip to Old Colfeians at Lee Green on Satur­day, hop­ing to avenge a one-point de­feat (35-34)

Beck­en­ham v Crow­bor­ough, Dart­for­dians v Sevenoaks, Old Al­ley­ni­ans v Deal & Bette­shanger, Old Colfeians v Ash­ford, Thanet Wan­der­ers v Hove, Tun­bridge Wells v Hor­sham. there on the open­ing day last sea­son.

Fus­sell added: “We have been work­ing hard in train­ing and go there with a game plan hop­ing to win.

“Our new coach Dar­ren Hall has set­tled in well, pro­vid­ing play­ers with stats af­ter games and work­ing with them as in­di­vid­u­als and in groups.”

Sheren and Baker are un­avail­able this week­end, while young scrum-half Ben Cooper is off to Cardiff Univer­sity.

Mean­while, club chair­man John Nor­man be­lieves Eng­land are good enough to reach the World Cup last four.

He will be at Twick­en­ham to­mor­row (Fri­day) for the open­ing game against Fiji and said: “Eng­land should get to the semi-fi­nals, then it will de­pend on the draw, in­juries and whose still stand­ing.

“New Zealand are my tip to win it but South Africa could creep in there.”

Mr Nor­man added: “Ev­ery­body at the club is ex­cited by it. We are screen­ing all the games, which should pro­vide us with good rev­enues.”

‘We were good in

open play’

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