Hogg calls for calm ahead of Diss derby

BURY St Edmunds’ coach Gavin Hogg has urged his side not to get carried away with their emphatic start to the new London One North campaign, ahead of a derby clash away to rivals Diss tomorrow (3pm).

The Haberden outfit kicked off their season in perfect fashion on Saturday, completely outclassing visitors Rochford Hundred in a comfortable 99-0 victory, to meet expectations as many people’s tip as early promotion favourites.

Despite being delighted to get the season started in style and live up to the favourites’ tag-line, Hogg is keen to keep everyone’s feet at the club firmly on the ground and remain focused on the task in hand of securing victory over their rivals.

“Like everyone, I woke up apprehensive, expecting to be in for a tough fixture, but I was pleased with the manner in which we played and it is great to get the season off to a winning start,” he said.

“We have certainly put a marker down to the rest of the division and now some of them will stand up and take notice.

“Usually you try and play down the fact that people are calling you favourites for promotion, but we were happy to embrace it and it is pleasing to be living up to the tagline.

“Even though it is nice to win early in the season, we will keep our feet on the ground because we know we have to be wary of inconsistency.

“We also know tomorrow will be a tough test for us and that will be a real opportunity for us to show how strong we are.

“It will be a tough encounter, but will have confidence and it is set up nicely for what should be a fantastic spectacle of rugby.”

The victory also extended Bury’s impressive run of form from last season, which saw the club clinch 11 straight victories, including a convincing Suffolk Cup final success over rivals Colchester.

Despite that, Hogg played down the significance of any statistics as he reiterated the threat of Phil Sharpe’s charges, who will also go into the encounter in buoyant mood after claiming a 43-8 victory over Romford and Gidea Park.

“We have carried on the form from last season, but in a way it counts for nothing, because the new season is a clean slate,” he added.

“All round they are a strong side and are extremely hard to break down.

“There will be an emphasis of retaining possession and when you get the opportunity, to apply some strong pressure.

“We are very realistic and know it will be a big step up from last weekend’s match.

“Diss have a strong record at home and we have had some difficult fixtures there so we know we will need to work hard.”