Bury St Edmunds and Colchester flying the flag for region’s rugby clubs
- Credit: Archant
They are the rugby pride of East Anglia right now – two teams with genuine promotion dreams.
New National 3 leaders, Bury St Edmunds, are now the team to beat, having travelled to former table-toppers Westcombe Park at the weekend and emerged with a stunning 20-13 victory.
As for Colchester, National League rugby could be on the cards for head coach Anthony O’Riordan’s men, the north Essex team overpowering Old Priorians 85-0 at Mill Road on Saturday.
Currently second in London 1 North, Colchester are just three points behind unbeaten leaders Eton Manor, the only team to have defeated O’Riordan’s in-form side this season.
Colchester would surely like to emulate the achievements of Bury, who romped to the London 1 North title in 2013, before consolidating last season.
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The Haberden outfit have lost just twice this season and face two more teams from the top-six, East Grinstead and Chichester in their next two games.
“We spoke about how every game leading up to Christmas would be like a cup final for us, and we have put ourselves up there to be shot at now,” said Hogg.
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“That is something we can deal with, looking back to our unbeaten season in London 1 North, and we have players such as Matt Edison, Chris Snelling and Tim Mann who came through that.
“When you are top, teams want to turn you over and that is something we are comfortable with, in fact the players tend to raise themselves for those types of games.”
Meanwhile, O’Riordan believes Colchester are a more rounded team than previously with good competition for places.
“Gone are the days where Colchester were accepted as a fast-running team that tended to win when the conditions were good, but accepted sacrifices when the conditions were bad,” said O’Riordan.
“We can adapt our rugby to suit the conditions.
“We also have competition for places and no-one has a divine right to play.”