The championship may be virtually sealed, but Bury’s rugby players now want to deliver promotion to the National League in style.
Head coach Gavin Hogg revealed captain Matt Edison spoke in the wake of their 36-14 win over nearest challengers Eton Manor about getting over the line unbeaten.
Victories in each of their final five matches against struggling sides, starting at Basildon today (2.30pm), would see the Suffolk side enter the history books as going a whole season without defeat.
“One of our goals is to try and go unbeaten to the end of the season and that is something which will keep us focused and hopefully come away with an unbeaten run which will take us to promotion,” said Hogg, whose side are now 15 points clear of Eton Manor after Saturday’s victory.
Hogg added: “No disrespect to the sides we are playing, but we are playing the bottom four out of those five games and we would like to think we will push on.
“We are gearing up for the National League and that is something we are very excited about as a club.
“For what the guys have done this season, they deserve to be playing at a higher level.”
In what had been billed the game of the season at a packed Haberden, Eton Manor — on a straight run of victories themselves since defeat to Bury in October — never had a sniff of getting their noses in front.
A try by winger Chris Snelling only four minutes in left the visitors chasing the game as Bury quickly built on a 20-9 lead after the restart.
“We said to the guys we felt we were more clinical at the right times in the game,” said Hogg, who included 17-year-old Colts player Jamie Cooke from the start as one of seven from Bury’s youth system in the 18-man squad. “We scored early in the first half and then just before half-time and the two scores at the start of the second half probably killed them and the game off.
“We were delighted that we did score at the right times and were very clinical at what we did and that was the difference between the two sides.”
Hogg admitted he will be looking to give some squad players more game time in the run-in, but is not envisaging an overhaul of the side, with only possibly Aaran Waters (injury) a doubt for today’s trip to Basildon.
* Premiership giants Leicester Tigers, Northampton Saints, Saracens and London Welsh have all confirmed they will be sending sides to take part in Bury’s ULR7s Tournament on May 5.
Fourteen teams will play in the fast-flowing seven-player format (set to be an Olympic sport in Brazil in 2016) in the elite competition, while Bury will field a team in the open format.
Crowds have flocked to the event for the past five years, with England players Chris Ashton and David Strettle having presented the trophy in 2011 and 2012, the last part of the Super Sevens Series earning an award for best tournament.
An adults ticket is £10, while there are discounts for children and members of the Armed Forces. Contact the club on: 01284 753920.