Hogg: we must be in top form to take advantage of an open game

NOT STRONG ENOUGH: Bury have been working on their set piece this week after Cinderford took advantage to record a 29-26 victory on Saturday  Picture: Shawn Pearce Photography
NOT STRONG ENOUGH: Bury have been working on their set piece this week after Cinderford took advantage to record a 29-26 victory on Saturday Picture: Shawn Pearce Photography
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Gavin Hogg believes title challengers Old Elthamians’ open style of rugby will give his Bury side a better chance of causing an upset tomorrow (3pm) after coming up just short at Cinderford.

In Gloucestershire, against the side who side who had sat one place below them in ninth in the National League Two South table, The Wolfpack had led 19-7 at the break before Cinderford turned the screw by using their supremacy in the forwards to pull off a 29-26 victory.

But while impressing the need to learn the lessons from being second best in the scrum and lineouts ahead of the visit of the second-placed side to the GK IPA Haberden tomorrow, Bury’s director of rugby believes their opponents brand of rugby will suit his side.

“I guess it is going to be one of those very open games with the ball moving around a lot and that should hopefully suit us and complement our style,” he said.

“Both games last season were very close but they are one of the sides, alongside Chinnor, that set their stall our very clear at the start of the season that they want to be a top two side and push for promotion.

“They recruited really wisely over the summer and they gelled very quickly.

“They were really impressive last time out in the win over Barnstaple (31-8) and it will take us to be at the top of our game to be competitive and hopefully get something from it.”

With Bury having raced into a 14-0 lead inside the opening 20 minutes at Cinderford, with tries from Sam Sterling and Pierre Peres, Hogg admitted it was a great disappointment to only come away with the two bonus points in the end.

“I suppose it was another of those games where we were saying ‘what if’ really,” he said.

“We put ourselves in a position at half-time where we could kick on and get something out of it, but the harsh reality of it was the game was decided in the forward battle and Cinderford dominated the scrum and lineout.”

Two converted tries in the corners brought Cinderford to 21-19 and a penalty in-between a third, unconverted, left Bury 10 points behind.

Chris Lord squeezed over in the corner, which Liam McBride added the extras to for Bury’s bonus points.

With second row Ben Turner unavailable, Matt Edison is set to come into the pack tomorrow.