Character shown by Bury St Edmunds in victory over Hinckley pleases Jacob Ford
Bury St Edmunds head coach Jacob Ford was pleased with the way his side responded to the challenges Hinckley threw at them as they kept their perfect home record intact with a 40-25 victory this afternoon.
The Wolfpack found themselves caught under an early bombardment from their Leicestershire visitors at the start of both halves but went on to score four and two times to eventually earn a comfortable 15-point winning margin.
After Ruaraidh Williams had got the ball down to overturn two penalties from Hinckley's dominant start, unanswered tries followed from Joe Green, Will Affleck and Mike Stanway for a 26-6 lead at half-time.
Two tries from the visitors soon after the restart got them back to within eight points but Craig Stevenson and Cairan Leeson scored either of another to ensure the victory was never in serious doubt.
It makes it five wins from five at the Greene King IPA Haberden under Ford's reign, moving them up a place in the National League 2 South table to seventh place ahead of next weekend off.
And although it was not the most convincing display, the combined Bury head coach and director of rugby was pleased with the character his side were able to show another bumper crowd.
"Teams try to drag us into a certain way of playing and I think we showed the mental strength and composure that we need to stick what we do and how we want to play," he said.
"I think we got tested twice, at the start of the second half and definitely at the start of the game where we didn't touch the ball for the first 15 minutes.
"If teams do that to you to try and rattle you and I think we did really well to come back from that and stick to the game-plan if you like.
"That was really pleasing to see but it is a good learning curve for us as that is probably going to happen, especially away from home and when teams come here and when the weather is poor. But we stuck at it and we got a good result.
"We played well for probably about 40 minutes of that game but the challenge continues to be when we build a lead how do we keep it and keep on going."
Off the back of last weekend's 25-24 defeat at Henley, Ford included former Bedford Blues prop Camilo Parilli-Ocampo in the side for the first time this season after his recovery from a broken arm. Affleck started on the wing following his long absence with ankle ligament damage while there was a home debut in the second row for Rob Conquest, having made his Bury bow following leaving Cambridge at Henley.
Hinckley had only claimed one win from their opening seven matches to sit 14th in the table but put Bury under heavy early pressure.
As the hosts struggled to get to grips with the referee's take on things, not winning their first decision until the 21st minute, two penalty kicks from Joe Wilson put them 6-0 down.
There had also been some wayward passing from the hosts. But it was quick hands which saw the ball moved well out of a held-up effort in the right-hand corner in the 16th minute for Williams to pick out a clear line under the posts. Charlie Reed added the conversion to put them into the lead.
It was doubled in the 25th minute when a pick-and-drive move saw Joe Green get the ball down.
Within three minutes it was 21-6 as a lovely looping ball from Ben Penfold, following Leeson's break, set Affleck away down the left wing. Despite the tricky angle Reed got the conversion over.
The bonus point was secured four minutes before half-time with a great run down the right-hand side from Mike Stanway, though this time Reed's angled kick failed.
Hinckley were far from accepting a defeat though and burst out the blocks once again at the start of the second period.
Euan Kelly shipped the ball to full-back Joshua Smith in the left-hand corner to score an uncoverted try within three minutes.
The gap on the scoreboard was then closed to eight five minutes later as Affleck was unable to hold Kelly up in the right-hand corner. A good conversion from Wilson made it 28-18.
But Bury managed to regain their composure and scored their fifth try in the 53rd minute with Craig Stevenson grounding the ball from close range following a lineout. Reed was able to add the extras.
Only Stanway's right boot going into touch prevented another quick score before Hinckley brought the gap back to eight points with Adam Johnson scoring a pushover try after sustained pressure just after the hour mark.
A clever dinked kick from Reed 12 minutes from time set Leeson away to put the game beyond Hinckley's reach after Bury had gained good ground through a maul after a crossfield kick secured a lineout. Reed once again added the conversion.
Stanway once again went close to adding another before ill discipline saw the visitors end with 13 players as first Harry Bower and then Oliver Povoas were shown yellow cards.
But despite finishing strongly Bury were unable to punish their opponents further, though it was another victory for the home fans to celebrate once again.
Bury St Edmunds: 15 Reed, 14 Affleck, 13 Leeson, 12 Penfold, 11 Stanway 10 Greenhall, 9 Bolton, 1 Parilli-Ocampo, 2 Robinson, 3 Cooper, 4 Conquest, 5 Green, 6 Williams, 7 Bursey (c), 8 Stevenson. Replacements: McCartney, Hill, Browne, Grigg-Pettitt, Creighton.
Coaches' Man of the Match: Cairan Leeson.