Bury St Edmunds Rugby Club hoping for bonus-point victory against National League 3 London & SE basement side Westcliff this afternoon

Bury's Aaron Waters (right) has an injury problem this afternoon

Bury's Aaron Waters (right) has an injury problem this afternoon - Credit: Archant

Bury St Edmunds Rugby Club welcome National League 3 London & SE basement side Westcliff to the Haberden this afternoon (3pm), looking for a convincing victory that will lift them closer to the top four.

So says Chairman and Performance Director of Senior Rugby, Terry Sands, who has made no secret of the fact that breaking into the top four this season is the aim following last campaign’s successful mid-table accomplishment.

Following last week’s 26-7 away triumph over Tring, Bury currently sit in sixth position.

Speaking of the result, Sands said: “It was a good performance and result but I think we still have a lot more to offer.

“We have a lot of ammunition in our belts and our target is a top-four finish.”

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Sands and everyone at Bury is ambitious and despite the side’s solid start again to the season, winning two and losing two of their opening four games, he certainly feels there is a lot more room for improvement.

“To be honest I probably think we should be unbeaten (so far this season),” admitted Sands.

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“That said we’ve got something like 13 new players in this season and with just two one-hour sessions a week, we haven’t had enough time to gel properly.

“As the team play more together though, they’ll gel more and more and start increasing their levels of performance.”

So far this season, the Green and Ambers have triumphed over Tring (26-7), and Hertford (43-21), but have lost at Gravesend (20-13), and Amersham & Chiltern (28-15).

Injuries to key players, as Sands explained, hasn’t helped Bury’s stop-start beginning to the campaign.

“I think we’ve had more injuries this season than we did in the whole of last season,” declared Sands.

“Kieran Black, Sean Davies, Beau Gibsom, and Aaron Waters are all big players for us that have been out injured and you have to take that all in to account (in reference to Bury’s start to the season).”

One player Bury will indefinitely be without now is full-back Tom Rock, who has been posted up at a northern-based RAF airfield on work commitments in the last week.

“The news has come in the last week and it’s a bit sudden for us,” confessed Sands.

“He’s played the highest level of rugby possible at London Welsh and Leeds, and we were building our team around him so he’ll be a massive loss to us, but onwards and upwards.”

Jesse Rush will have the task of stepping into Rock’s big boots this afternoon against Westcliff.

With three of their opening four fixtures being away from home, Sands is also particularly looking forward to today’s home encounter in Suffolk.

“All the boys can’t wait to play at the Haberden again, we always get a big crowd, and we’re all looking forward to it,” concluded Sands.

“Teams at the bottom can play up to your level so you never can tell but we’re obviously targeting a bonus-point win.”

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