Bury St Edmunds’ director of rugby praises ‘unbelievable, fantastic experience’

Bury St Edmunds Rugby Club host Old Elthamians at the Haberden in their first National League 3 fixt

Bury St Edmunds Rugby Club host Old Elthamians at the Haberden in their first National League 3 fixture on Saturday. A big crowd turn out to watch as Bury get a lesson in how hard it is going to be in the higher division - Credit: Andy Abbott

Bury St Edmunds’ director of rugby Terry Sands reflected on an ‘unbelievable, fantastic experience’ after the Green & Ambers lost narrowly to Old Elthamians in their National League opener on Saturday.

Terry Sands

Terry Sands - Credit: ©Archant Photographic 2010

After a difficult start in which they fell 21 points behind, the hosts battled back and eventually lost 36-30, having got back on level terms at 30-30.

The defeat brought to an end Bury’s unbeaten record which included last season’s 100 per cent-winning campaign in London 3 North, but nothing could wipe the smile of Sands’ face.

“I think the crowd enjoyed it and in the huddle at the end, the captain (Matt Edison) said everyone had to be proud of themselves,” said Sands.

“Last year we were winning games by 50, 60 and 70 points and while it sounds silly, I don’t think the boys were enjoying it.

“They want to play a better standard of rugby, the whole club is behind them and today was an unbelievable, fantastic experience. I think the occasion got to us all in the first half and we gave them a bit too much respect. But while we lost our unbeaten record, we earned a bonus point and we lost with fire and passion.”

Trailing 24-9 at the break, it was near one-way traffic in the second period and tries from Chris Snelling, Will Martin and Beau Gibson gave the home side hope.

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“The boys showed what they were capable of in the second half. I think they thought they let themselves down in the first half,” added Sands.

“The crowd got them going and the players will become more competitive, the more games they have at this level.

“It was a very good team effort and one or two stood out. Beau Gibson was asked to play a leadership role and was outstanding, while George Stokes is only 18 and, for his age, stood out.

“There were lots of good performances though.”

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