Gavin Hogg believes Bury’s
big-game mentality can prove the key difference as they look to topple leaders Westcombe Park tomorrow.
The Suffolk side travel to their opponents’ Orpington base (2pm) for a top-two clash brimming with confidence, with their six straight victories — before last weekend’s break —making them the form team in National Three London and South East.
With a clean bill of health, bar long-term absentees Charlie Birrell and Aaron Waters, director of rugby Hogg is hoping his side’s desire to rise to the occasion will shine through once again at the side they trail in the table by just one point.
“Certainly the big games are something we seem to enjoy and relish,” he said. “We had a couple of big games in our promotion year (2012/13) and everyone was trying to knock us off top spot, and it is certainly something the players are accustomed to which seems to bring out our best performances.”
With 14 days to build up to the game, following an impressive 36-14 home win over Tonbridge Juddians last time out, Hogg insists they will be fully prepared for the challenge that awaits them on the fringes of south-east London.
“We always try and look at (their) results against similar opponents, and we can take a lot of confidence from their result against Hertford,” he said.
The 27-26 defeat to the mid-table side, the last time Westcombe played on their own turf, was their only league defeat of the season to date.
“We played them early on in the season and beat them pretty comfortably,” said Hogg, who added: “There is certainly an element of confidence in the squad this year that in the tight games we will close them out.”
But a familiar face will stand in their way of claiming top spot, in former Bury full-back Casey Stone.
“I sent Casey a text Monday asking for any inside information, but he is keeping things close to his chest,” joked Hogg. “From what we are hearing they play an expansive style of rugby, and we will need to make sure we do not play to Casey’s strengths.
“If we perform like we have over the last few games, I think it will be good enough to win the game.”