Bury St Edmunds 35
London Irish Wild Geese 24
The Wolfpack had enough in the bank to see off a spirited Irish revival to take the points at a bitterly cold Greene King IPA Haberden.
Prop Scott Brown was awarded the man of the match bubbly for a mammoth game in the front row.
The match lasted over 100 minutes with numerous stoppages for injuries and re-set scrums to leave the crowd desperate for warmth, despite a nine match game.
The five points gained — including a bonus point for their five try haul — saw them edge up the league to within a point of this weekend’s opponents Redingensians.
It was a result head coach Ollie Smith described as ‘a great way to bounce back from defeat against Henley’ in their last match before a week’s break.
“You’re never that sure how a team will respond to a loss, particularly when there’s a week off,” he said.
“We worked hard in training and I’m really happy with the way the team put into practice the things we had been working on.
“It was a deserved win in the end, I think we were the better team but it was still a competitive game, just very pleasing.
“We spoke at half-time about the importance of coming back strongly, as it’s been a problem for us.
“In a number of games we have slipped off in that opening spell in the second half, to make things hard for ourselves.
“So I was pleased they scored two tries early on, they weren’t the prettiest but that isn’t important.
“Unfortunately we then allowed them back into it rather than keep pushing forward and we had to defend hard for the remainder of the game.
“So there’s still plenty to do. Sometimes you have to get things wrong before you can know what’s right, the best way to learn is to make mistakes.
“And you have to hope it doesn’t cost you too many points. We learned a lot in this game, with the reward of victory but we were also under pressure and cracked at times.
“There were some really good moments but also clear things to work on.
“It was a great game to have before we take on first, second and fourth in the league over the next three weeks.”
It didn’t start positively for the home team against the London Irish Wild Geese, with the first score going to the visitors with just four minutes gone. The unconverted try put them 5-0 ahead and gave the home side early food for thought.
But the Wolfpack responded, first with a penalty and then a try, as winger Dwayne Corcoran went over for his first of two on the day which was duly converted by Liam McBride for the extras.
The opening half an hour produced end-to-end rugby as London Irish quickly came back for another, scoring the conversion to put them ahead on 10-12.
But it got better for the home side fast, as the referee awarded a penalty try for collapsing the scrum in the 29th minute.
Referee Jack Lewars had warned the visitors of repeated infringements in the final metres and, as Bury pushed for the try, a further bit of foul play seemed to tip his hand as he awarded the automatic seven points to put Bury 17-12 ahead.
They then pushed on for another score, and were rewarded with a messy try on the wing from Brendan Mitchell, despite almost throwing away a two man overlap.
With the extras missed, Bury had a 22-12 lead going in to half-time.
And the game was effectively ended in the first 10 minutes of the second half by Bury, with Corcoran scoring his second to secure the bonus point before Chris Lord went over for another five points for the team.
London Irish gave their all in response and scored a try after sustained pressure.
Another missed conversion kept the score at 32-17, before Bury added a bit of breathing space from a penalty to put the score further ahead at 35-17.
The momentum of the game threatened to turn however, as the Wild Geese ramped up the pressure, scoring another try — this time converted — to put the score at 35-24 with 15 minutes remaining, but the hard game caught up to both sides as it proved the final score.
Chances were squandered but Bury looked the stronger team throughout the game.
The result sees them go into this weekend’s away fixture against Redingensians with everything to play for (2pm).
n Meanwhile the club are celebrating news that Bury winger Conan Osborne has played a part in his national side Jamaica being crowned 2017 Men’s Rugby Americas North Sevens champions.
In running-out winners, Jamaica have officially qualified for the 2018 Rugby World Cup Sevens in San Francisco.
Jamaica also qualified for the 2018 Central American and Caribbean Sports Organization (CACSO) Games, Commonwealth Games and the 2018 Hong Kong Sevens.