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Samir Kharbouch believes his Bury St Edmunds players’ ‘outstanding performance’ went unrewarded after exit in RFU National Under-18s Cup to Newport Salop





Samir Kharbouch believes his Bury St Edmunds players’ ‘outstanding performance’ went unrewarded as they exited the RFU National Under-18s Cup with a 22-17 quarter-final defeat away to Newport Salop.

Sunday’s game near Telford in Shropshire saw Bury’s Colts side go close to matching last year’s record run to the semi-finals of the competition, but ultimately end up falling just short.

But while frustrated, head coach Kharbouch could not have been more proud of the performance they put in.

Bury St Edmunds Colts in action in their 22-17 defeat away to Newport Salop in the RFU National Under-18s Cup quarter-final Picture: Beanstalk Media
Bury St Edmunds Colts in action in their 22-17 defeat away to Newport Salop in the RFU National Under-18s Cup quarter-final Picture: Beanstalk Media

"The boys were awesome, they did really well,” he said.

“I honestly think if we play that game 10 times we win nine times.

“I think we played against a really good team but I think my boys proved they were the better team on the day, unfortunately they weren't rewarded for that and that happens sometimes.”

Bury St Edmunds Colts came up just short at Newport Salop in their national quarter-final Picture: Beanstalk Media
Bury St Edmunds Colts came up just short at Newport Salop in their national quarter-final Picture: Beanstalk Media

Bury had fallen behind to an uncoverted score before two tries, by James Walshe and Fin Blair, both converted by Geroge Harwood, saw them lead 14-5 at the interval.

But Newport Salop were able to overturn that lead with a penalty added to by two tries, one converted, before Harwood replied with a penalty to set up a grandstand finish.

However, unlike in their last 16 tie, where they beat Olney 26-22 at home, there was to be no last-minute winning score this time around to carry them through.

Kharbouch said: "The thing that frustrates me is the boys did everything right.

Bury St Edmunds Colts in action in their 22-17 defeat away to Newport Salop in the RFU National Under-18s Cup quarter-final Picture: Beanstalk Media
Bury St Edmunds Colts in action in their 22-17 defeat away to Newport Salop in the RFU National Under-18s Cup quarter-final Picture: Beanstalk Media

“They went three hours away from home, played outstanding and weren't rewarded, and that's okay.

"I really still wouldn't trade anyone on our team for anyone on their team.

"I thought we were better than them all around the park.

"And I have really good people on my team, not just good players, great, great people to coach.

"If we can keep them around our rugby club is going to be in a really good spot."

Bury will now be targeting success in the Eastern Counties Cup, where they still have two more group games to go after winning the first pair, to end their season with some silverware.

Meanwhile, Kharbouch was back in action for Bury St Edmunds’ men’s first team on Saturday, following earning his fifth cap for Algeria in the 15-a-side format in a 26-12 win against Senegal at the Stade Claude Luboz, on the outskirts of Paris.

But Jacob Ford’s side ultimately found the going tough at National League 2 East leaders Esher, going down to their biggest defeat of the campaign, by a 60-15 scoreline.

The Wolfpack had been well in the game at half-time though, with tries from Harry Simpson and Will Affleck leaving them 15-10 behind ahead of a disastrous second period.

It was a third straight defeat for fourth-placed Bury, seeing Dorking above them open up a 10-point gap.

Ford will be looking for his side to bounce back when they return to the Greene King IPA Haberden tomorrow for the visit of second-bottom Wimbledon (3pm).

Bury St Edmunds Women are set to return to Women’s Championship Midlands 2 action at bottom-of-the-table Sutton Coldfield Ladies on Sunday, having not played last weekend.