Bury St Edmunds Rugby Club set to be unchanged for visit of Ding Crusaders
Jacob Ford has the luxury of a fully fit Bury St Edmunds squad to choose from for the visit of Dings Crusaders tomorrow (3pm) – but the head coach admits their most recent display has avoided a selection headache.
The 10th-placed Wolfpack brought up only their second away win of their National League 2 South campaign at Rochford Hundred on Saturday, their hosts scoring a try late on to earn their bonus point in a 24-18 scoreline.
Craig Stevenson’s early converted try in Essex had been cancelled out by Bury conceding a penalty try before a 40 metre kick saw them trail 10-7 at the interval.
But once Levi Roper dotted down to put them ahead off the back of Charlie Reid’s successful penalty kick, they kept their noses in front from there-on in.
Another Reid penalty made it 17-10 before Rochford’s own kick reduced the deficit to four points.
But winger Will Affleck broke through for a crucial converted try before the hosts’ last-gasp effort.
Despite their penalty count being high, Ford was pleased with the resilient display from his players to bounce back from the previous weekend’s home defeat to Worthing.
“Rochford is a really tough place to go and win at,” he said.
“They are a gritty team and we knew things weren’t going to go our way. We conceded 15 penalties, which is one of the problems we are trying to fix, but when we got our opportunities we stuck to it.
“At half-time, even though we were losing, we felt comfortable.
“It was nice to go down there and get the win and this week we just want to get back to playing our style of rugby as you were never going to go and do that down there.”
Having lost their last two home games, taking losing bonus points against both top four sides in Esher (40-36) and Worthing (20-14), Bury are desperate to give their home crowd something to really cheer about tomorrow.
It will also see them out to avenge the 33-27 defeat in Bristol in September which had seen them throw away a 17-0 lead following a long stoppage for an ambulance to arrive for Dings prop Liam Appleton. The hosts had gone to snatch the victory with a last-gasp try.
“We’ll be pretty keen to get a victory this weekend, considering what happened there which was pretty tough to take,” said Ford.
“With the weather looking okay hopefully we can go out there and express ourselves to put in a performance where we’re putting points on the board.”
He added: “Again we are fully fit which is a brilliant position to be in.
“If we keep performing like we are it is going to be hard for lads to get in as you pick a winning team.
“With that consistency I’ve talked about, hopefully we’re now at the beginning stages of that and hopefully we’ll pick the same team this week.”
Ford confirmed ex-Richmond and England 7s Academy professional utility back Will Attfield will not be in line for his debut tomorrow..
He said: “We’re just happy with him training at the minute and making sure we manage that transition of him coming into a team that is performing.
“Hopefully he will be involved next week when we play Barnstaple away.”
Tomorrow’s opponents Dings are one place below Bury in the table in 11th, though also have 37 points having played two games more than. They make the trip to Suffolk off the back of losing 31-17 at Guernsey.