BURY ST Edmunds Rugby Club have a ‘point to prove’ when they travel to rivals Colchester tomorrow (2.15pm), according to coach Gavin Hogg.
The Bury chief wants to see his side show how far they have come since the 29-15 defeat suffered at The Haberden when the two sides clashed in September and knows a win would see them leapfrog the Essex side and go into Christmas second in the league.
Third-placed Bury ended up coming from behind to draw a thrilling contest against fourth-placed Diss on Saturday, 25-25, which has made taking a win from Colchester even more important.
“I think it is absolutely vital,” said Hogg. “We cannot afford to lose much more ground in the top two and we know every game now is becoming almost a must-win scenario.
“Going into the Christmas period sitting second in the league would be a nice place to be.”
Hogg, who will be showing his players the DVD of the first instalment of the Suffolk/Essex derby before travelling south, said of the rivalry with Colchester: “Especially over the last couple of seasons there has been a lot of tight games in the league and the Suffolk Cup as well, so there has been that intense rivalry built up.
“They obviously beat us in our second game of the season so I think we have to go there and really prove to ourselves we have improved from then and show we deserve to be in the top two.”
Reflecting on a rollercoaster derby with Diss, Hogg said: “It was probably a fair result. I think we are just disappointed when we got a lead we did not get that next score that would have taken us eight nine points clear and made it very hard for them to get back into it.
“I guess we are pleased we were eight points down and finished up getting something out of the game so that is a positive and something to build on and take to Colchester.”
Centre Tim Mann (sister’s wedding), is unavailable, but key Kiwi back Kenny Eggers (ankle) is in line to return.
Bury v Diss report and pictures: P102/103