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Bury St Edmunds Rugby Club head coach Jacob Ford looks to address mentality issue following frustrating defeat at Worthing

After seeing his Bury St Edmunds side throw away a 24-point lead at relegation-threatened Worthing to lose 32-31 in a fifth straight defeat, Jacob Ford feels they need to work on their mental resilience to get results back on track.

The Wolfpack, who still remain fourth in the National League 2 East table on points difference, looked to be well on the way to ending their losing streak on the south coast on Saturday after racing into a commanding lead.

Ben Penfold sent a penalty kick over inbetween converting unanswered tries from Finn McCartney, Ben Kelland and George Loose for 24-0.

Bury head coach Jacob Ford
Bury head coach Jacob Ford

But the visitors managed to score an unconverted try just before the break which proved to be a turning point in the momentum of the match.

It was the first of six unanswered tries as they stacked up 32 points, having got themselves into the lead heading into the final 20 minutes.

Bury’s only response came in the last play with Patrick Robinson’s converted try earning them a second losing bonus point in a 32-31 defeat.

It was the second game running where Bury had let a lead slip through their fingers to a side who had occupied the second potential relegation spot, with Wimbledon having secured victory 31-27 in the last play in Suffolk.

And ahead of a welcome free weekend, ahead of returning to action at home to third-placed Dorking next Saturday (3pm), head coach Ford says the mental side of the game is something they need to address.

"We went 24 points up in 20 minutes and were playing pretty well and then I think just before and after half-time we were very reactional to decisions not going our way and the opposition getting on the scoreboard and that impacted our intention in the game which shouldn't be the case,” he said.

"We are learning that and over the last five weeks that is what has really knocked our confidence when actually the big word that we're trying to drive within the squad at the minute is ‘consistency’. Consistency in our mindset and in terms of staying in the moment and competing on the next play no matter whatever happens, positive or negative, and having that mental resilience to stay with it.

"If we don't have that we're not going to have much chance of getting over the line in these games."

Elsewhere, Bury St Edmunds II romped to a 81-17 victory at Diss in Eastern Counties 1 to leave them third in the table ahead of hosting second-placed Wymondham, who they trail by 11 points, on Saturday.

Bury St Edmunds Women, who saw their fixture at Sutton Colfield postponed on February 18, do not have another match in Women’s Championship Midlands 2 until travelling to Hitchin on March 17.