Captain Tom Rock recognises that ‘staying afloat’ is Bury’s primary target

Sam Sterling breaks free to score one of his two tries for Bury against Henley last week. Captain To

Sam Sterling breaks free to score one of his two tries for Bury against Henley last week. Captain Tom Rock is in the background. - Credit: Archant

Bury St Edmunds captain, Tom Rock, recognises that the Wolfpack have a “tough February” in their quest to remain in National League Two South for a third season, starting away at third-placed Redruth tomorrow afternoon (kick-off 2pm).

Bury have lost seven of their last eight league fixtures, to sit in 11th spot in the table, although they are still eight points clear of third-from-bottom Barnstaple, who currently occupy the last relegation berth.

This weekend features a tiring 760-mile round trip to Cornwall, to take on a Redruth side who have won 10 of their 14 fixtures to date.

Rock explained: “We’ve set ourselves targets, internally, and staying afloat is obviously imperative.

“But we’ve got other targets beyond that (of avoiding relegation), and we’ve got a tough February ahead of us.

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“The challenge is there for us. There’s some difficult games this month, but if we can execute what we want to do, and get our mental side right, then I believe we can challenge any team in this league.

“Last weekend (27-21 home defeat to Henley Hawks) was another missed opportunity, and there have been a lot of those this season.

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“We fought well in the second half, but ultimately we were left with the feeling that it was one that got away,” added Rock, who is set to start at fly-half tomorrow.

The Wolfpack’s only success, since mid-November, has been a narrow 23-20 victory at Worthing on January 7.

Otherwise, it has been a lean spell for Gavin Hogg’s men, who lost to fellow strugglers Henley last weekend, and suffered a 36-24 reverse at London Irish Wild Geese in their last away fixture two weeks ago.

In both matches, Bury effectively lost the contest by half-time, after below-par first-half displays left them with far too much to do.

Ironically, that was also the case when Redruth played at The Haberden in mid-October, Bury making too many mistakes to trail 26-5 at the interval, before rallying to eventually lose by 35-22.

Bury (starting XV): Trinder, Collins, Coutts, Hall, Whetton, Bixby, Stapleton, Comin. A-Brown, Rock (c), Mellett, Rodrigo, Sterling, Lyle, McBride. Repalecements: Griffiths, Selby, Meyers, Stanley, Dolan.

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