Bury St Edmunds will look to ‘express themselves’ at Old Elthamians
- Credit: Archant
Bury St Edmunds Director of Rugby, Gavin Hogg, is looking for his side to go out “and express themselves” at second-placed Old Elthamians tomorrow afternoon, safe in the knowledge that they are free from all relegation fears.
In-form Bury are unbeaten in their last four fixtures, following up a trio of wins against Exmouth, Barnes and Barnstaple with an entertaining 29-29 home draw against sixth-placed Cinderford last weekend.
Tomorrow they face a daunting test in South-East London against an Old Elthamians side who are battling for promotion from National League Two South – they are currently sitting in the one play-off place, in second spot, although they are level on points with third-placed Chinnor.
“The pressure is finally off, so we see this as an opportunity for the players to go out and express themselves,” said Hogg.
“The pressure is all on the opposition. They need to win their last three games with bonus points to be guaranteed a play-off place, while we are mathematically safe from relegation.
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“It’s the first time for quite a while that the pressure is off us, and we should relish this opportunity. We’ll be seeing what individual players can do, and also looking towards next season.
“We want to try and build an environment of belief within the playing squad, and build up some momentum going into next season.
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“This month gives us a chance to test ourselves against teams from the top half of the table, and gives us a chance to lay down a marker,” added Hogg.
Bury will be forced into changes this weekend. Prop Toby Trinder returns following his training camp with the England Under-19s, but Louis Whetton will miss out, with John Hall moving into the second row.
Matt Edison and Maku Koroiyadi are both unavailable, while Tom Rock injured his knee playing for the RAF against the Navy in midweek.
Furthermore, fly-half Glyn Hughes, who made such a big impact following his short-term move to Bury, has played his last game for the Wolfpack. He is preparing to go to Hong Kong.
“Glyn goes with our best wishes. He’s done well for us and helped to keep us up,” said Hogg.
Will Affleck will play at No. 10, with Sam Sterling operating at centre and Shaq Meyers and Scott Lyle on the wings.