Hogg wants to overcome points deduction setback

BURY ST Edmunds player-coach Gavin Hogg has urged his squad not dwell on the Haberden outfit being deducted 25 points this week.

The Rugby Football Union (RFU) took the decision to deduct points after the club fielded an unregistered player during one of their matches back in January, which contravenes regulations and means Bury will drop from fourth to 10th in London One North.

In reaction to the decision, Bury RFC released a statement which read: “This decision is totally accepted by the senior playing committee at the club.

“We will now focus on trying to win back the Suffolk Cup and cementing our position in mid-table for the rest of this season, while striving to build a promotion-winning side next season.

“Despite this major setback, the club is fully supportive of all the efforts made by the senior playing committee to ensure that Bury remain at the forefront of Eastern Counties Rugby.”

Despite seeing his promotion aims shattered by the deduction, Hogg remains upbeat as he aims to maintain Bury’s recent winning streak of three matches, starting with tomorrow’s visit of Old Colfeians (2.15pm).

“The decision has been made by the league and there is no point dwelling on the situation because we can’t change it now,” he said.

“These things happen and I know there is enough pride in the players to put this behind them and look ahead.

“Everyone at the club was obviously disappointed, but we have a good bunch of players and there has already been a terrific response from them in training this week.

“We know we are in for a tough game against Old Colfeians, but it is certainly an opportunity for us to maintain our recent winning form.”

Meanwhile, in London Three North East, Stowmarket are hoping they could jump into the top two with victory at bottom club East London tomorrow (2.30pm), after a 21-7 defeat of fifth-placed Wanstead on Saturday.

Stow moved up to third as a result of that victory to keep their promotion bandwagon rolling on.

“That was probably our most important win of the season so far,” said coach Nigel Seaman. “Every game is becoming like that — each one is bigger than the last as we get nearer the end of the season.”

And with runaway leaders Holt playing second-placed Harlow, it is extremely possible, Seaman’s charges could find themselves in a promotion spot come Monday.

The coach — who could welcome back scrum-half Joe Fifield and number eight Chris Wilson to his squad tomorrow — added: “The players are believing in promotion now.”

Meanwhile, in Greene King IPA Eastern Counties League Division Two, struggling Mildenhall Eagles host promotion-chasing Thetford tomorrow (2.30pm).

The Eagles lost 51-0 to new table- toppers Thurston on Saturday.

Thetford moved up to second with a 67-0 trouncing of rock bottom Sawston.

The top three of Thurston, Thetford and Hadleigh are all on 38 points, but Thetford have a game in hand.