Ambitious Bury to target top six in future seasons
- Credit: Archant
Bury St Edmunds effectively secured their National League Two South status, into a third season, with a rousing 43-31 victory at Barnes last Saturday.
It was a terrific effort from Bury, both on the day and as a season as a whole, to overcome a number of injuries and setbacks along the way to virtually guarantee another year of fourth tier rugby.
And looking further ahead, Director of Rugby Gavin Hogg is targeting top-six finishes in future seasons, rather than just being content to avoid relegation.
“We want to be more consistent, in terms of results, looking ahead,” explained Hogg.
“I think it helps with every season that you play at this level. You gain more experience and know-how, you learn how to compete and I think we can target being a top-eight or top-six side. We want to keep the core of this squad together, and work on things over the summer.
“But I’m delighted that we are now 10 points clear (of the relegation zone), in what has been a very challenging season for us.
“I have certainly found it the most challenging since I have been here, especially with all the injury setbacks, many of them involving key players.
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“It’s been a learning experience for us all, and the second season was always going to be tough. Teams promoted the previous year can be prone to be relegated, as was the case with Dorking in their second season at this level.
“This season is something for us to build on,” added Hogg.
Bury were trailing Barnes 21-19 at half-time, and the third-from-bottom hosts stretched their lead to 28-19 early in the second period, before the Suffolk visitors came storming back to rattle up 24 points and so clinch a vital ninth win of the campaign, and back-to-back victories following the previous weekend’s 33-28 home success over Exmouth.
Once again, recent signing Glyn Hughes, the former London Welsh fly-half, had a big role to play.
“Glen achieved a 100% success rate with his kicking. He kicked us 23 points, and some of his touchline conversions were crucial, turning a six-point lead into an eight-point lead, and so two scores ahead,” said Hogg.
“His decision-making and control was top drawer. He has settled quickly and has inspired everyone around him to raise their games as well.”