Bury St Edmunds looking to return to winning ways against the Raiders

Sean Stapleton, running through to score Bury's second try in last weekend's narrow defeat to leader

Sean Stapleton, running through to score Bury's second try in last weekend's narrow defeat to leaders Taunton. Picture: SHAWN PEARCE - Credit: Archant

Despite suffering back-to-back defeats, Bury St Edmunds head coach Ollie Smith believes that his side have “come a long way” since the start of the season.

Bury entertain struggling Worthing in another National League Two South fixture at The Haberden tomorrow afternoon (3pm), following on from narrow defeats at Redruth (9-12) and at home to leaders Taunton (20-26) last weekend.

The West Suffolk side had won their previous fourth matches, which is why they remain well placed in seventh spot.

“I think we have come a long way in the last seven weeks,” explained head coach Smith.

“We are not too far away. The last two performances show how far we have come. We are not suddenly going to run away with National League Two, with a new team, but perhaps one day we will.

“We have certainly been competitive in our last two matches, it’s just that our progress has coincided with two defeats.

“I think if we had not lost out two No. 9s (scrum-halves Harry Anderson-Brown and Lucas Merolle) to injury so early in the game, then we would probably have won the match.

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“Taunton played some great rugby in the second half, but I don’t think they would have had too many complaints if we had ended up winning the game.

“Those two injuries (Merolle has broken his jaw), and not getting the rub of the green at times, did not help us, but Taunton came into that game with six wins out of six, and a maximum 30 points, so overall it was a very good performance and a great advert for National Two rugby.

“However, we are coming into this weekend on the back of two defeats, so it’s a match we are desperate to win,” added Smith.

Worthing Raiders are down in 13th spot, after just two wins in their first seven fixtures, although they were unlucky to be edged out 27-29 at home to third-placed Cinderford last weekend.

“Worthing have been very up and down,” explained Smith.

“Taunton put 70-odd points on them, but then they only lost by two points against Cinderford. We have seen the video of that game and they played some good rugby.”

Worthing won their first two games of the season, against London Irish Wild Geese (27-22) and Wimbledon (31-15), but have lost their last five fixtures.

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