Bury targeting a third victory on the spin at the expense of Barnstaple
- Credit: Archant
Bury St Edmunds will be aiming for a third successive victory, when they take on relegation-threatened Barnstaple in a tough-looking National League Two South match in North Devon tomorrow afternoon (kick-off 3pm).
Bury relieved the pressure on themselves, following six defeats on the bounce, with victories over the bottom two of Exmouth and Barnes in their last two outings.
Gavin Hogg’s side beat basement dwellers Exmouth 33-28 at home, and defeated Barnes 43-31 on the road a fortnight ago to open up a 10-point gap between themselves and the relegation zone, going into the final five fixtures of the campaign.
Barnstaple are very much in the relegation mix, just one place and two points clear of the bottom three, but they are particularly hard to be beat on their home turf.
“Their home record is to be admired,” admitted Hogg, Bury’s Director of Rugby.
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“They only lost to (second-placed) Chinnor by a couple of points, and lost to the last kick of the game against (fifth-placed) Taunton Titans in their last home match.
“So we are expecting a very tough challenge, and we will have to have the right mental approach from the first whistle. We will probably have to soak up a good deal of pressure during the opening 20 or 25 minutes.
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“Hopefully, though, our ability will eventually shine through and we can go on to get the win in the second half.
“Barnstaple are desperate for the points, but we can open up a big gap by winning ourselves, and making us reasonably secure for the rest of the season,” added Hogg.
Bury have not played for a couple of weeks, and they will make a few enforced changes this weekend, from the trip to Barnes.
Hogg confirmed: “Jaid Wiltshire, who scored a hat-trick of tries against Barnes, injured his knee while playing for his university, and it looks like he will be out for the rest of the season.
“Shaq Meyers, back from injury, will replace Wiltshire on the wing.
“Sean Stapleton has not recovered from an elbow injury. He didn’t come through training this week, so Dave Micklethwaite will come in at No. 7. Matt Edison will move to the second row, with Maku Koroiyodi coming back in.”
All of Barnstaple’s seven wins have come at home this season.