Bury St Edmunds Channel thoughts towards defeating Guernsey

Matt Edison

Matt Edison - Credit: Archant

Bury St Edmunds play arguably their most demanding fixture of the season tomorrow (Saturday), when they square up against Guernsey on the Channel Island.

Gavin Hogg’s side were due to fly from Gatwick Airport this afternoon for the fixture and while the trip represents a break from the norm for the Green & Ambers, Hogg has been determined to keep the focus on the game.

“We have tried to keep the emphasis on the fact that this is another away game and points and positions are at stake,” said Hogg, on Friday morning.

“But I guess it is something a bit different and we are grateful for the support we have received from the club.

“The RFU support you a bit in terms of providing some sort of flight coverage, but they are usually pretty insistent that you fly out on the Saturday morning and return after the game.

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“The club and sponsors have been very supportive and allowed the players to hold some fund-raising activities and we have ensured that we have got our preparation as spot-on as it can be, in terms of staying in accommodation close to the rugby club and going on the Friday.”

This week’s preparation will have involved a strategy to gain revenge over the Channel Islanders who won 39-29 in Suffolk earlier in the season.

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Hogg has clear memories of that day but revealed today’s hosts could be much-changed from the team that secured victory in October.

“We were 15-0 up with a couple of minutes to go before half-time, but they scored just before the break when we should have been able to create a winable position and close out the game,” he said.

“We have gone through a few things in training this week and we are looking forward to trying to implement them tomorrow.

“From their point-of-view, travelling away from home every other week, I think they have found it tough with players having work and family commitments, so they have been fielding a slightly different side at home, compared to the one that they have away.

“We are hearing that their prop may be struggling with injury too, so it might be a good time, from our point-of-view, to go there and play them.”

While the weather in the UK has wiped out many sporting fixtures this weekend, especially at local level, it is not thought that this game is in any danger.

Indeed, the official Bury Twitter account posted a picture of the Footes Lane ground being perfectly playable, following an inspection.

“The information we have had is that Guernsey have spent a lot of money on their facilities,” said Hogg.

“It is the main facility used for sports games on the Island and the football team played a game there on Tuesday evening.

“They had a lot of rain on Monday and Tuesday but our main issue will be getting there, as a few flights have been turned around.”

Bury will be missing Aaron Waters and Tim Mann (long-standing personal commitments) but skipper Matt Edison will return after missing the home win against Barnes almost a fortnight ago.

Charlie Pask and Jamie Cooke will play, with the former starting at number 10 and the latter at number 13.

Bury are fifth in the league with Guernsey three points and two positions worse off.

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