Bury St Edmunds skipper braced for backlash from leaders, London Irish Wild Geese
- Credit: Archant
Bury St Edmunds skipper Chris Snelling is braced for a fierce backlash from league leaders London Irish Wild Geese as the top two teams in National 3 prepare for a monumental battle at The Haberden on Saturday (3pm).
Victory will see Bury go top of the table with eight games remaining and would complete an impressive double over their opponents, who were on the wrong end of a 47-17 scoreline back in October.
Bury go into the game on the back of an impressive three-game winning run, while London have lost two of their last four games.
However, Snelling insists his side cannot afford to be complacent, especially with the Wild Geese aiming to restore some pride from their early season defeat to the Green & Ambers.
“We had a big win at their place so they will be wanting to restore a lot of pride and we have to be wary of that,” explained Snelling.
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“I don’t think any team likes losing 47-17 on their home patch and it has hurt us when we have lost at The Haberden, so we need to be ready for them.
“They are a strong side with a lot of experience and some big players in the forwards and they like to throw the ball about.
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“It could go any way, and I think the game will be dependent on the weather – a downpour could change everything.
“We have just got to focus on our game and stick to the systems and patterns we trust.”
Despite being below their best since Christmas, the west Suffolk side have still managed to secure three victories at home to Amersham & Chiltern and Tring, and away at Westcliff.
“There have been no issues with the way we have been playing, just certain things have not gone our way,” added Snelling.
“It’s always difficult after Christmas though to get that momentum going again, but we had three tough fixtures and still earned victories.”
Earlier this week, director of coaching Gavin Hogg urged the Bury public to come out a back his team, who having won a historic promotion two years ago, could be on the verge of something special again.
Snelling believes Hogg will get his wish and praised the community for their support so far.
“The club is a great part of the community and people get behind us,” explained the skipper.
“There is always a big turn-out for our games and I expect a few more people to turn up on Saturday, given the size of the game.
“It’s one of the biggest the club has ever had and if we win, we will go top with eight games to go.
“But there is still eight games left, anyone can beat anyone on their day, and we cannot afford to be complacent and think that if we win this, we will be promoted.
“The boys are anxious to get out there and we have been able to turn it on in the big games this season, like at their place, whereas in the last three games we have not been quite on the ball.”