Confidence is high as Gavin Hogg set to return to the Haberden
Nick Wakley believes his Bury St Edmunds side are in ‘a good place’ as they look to register the first home victory under his stewardship to ruin Gavin Hogg’s Haberden return.
There is sure to be a very warm welcome extended to the Wolfpack’s most successful ever head coach as Hogg makes his first return to the dugout he vacated in April 2017 with his Old Albanians side tomorrow (3pm).
But with it being the last game before the Christmas break, and in front of a bumper crowd, Wakley admits it would be the perfect time to get his first win at the GK IPA Haberden, in what will be his third attempt.
The former Wales Women’s coach said: “I think the players are in a good place to build on our performances and it would be nice to give him a nice warm weclome but also a losing return.”
He added: “He is spoken of very highly here.
“Terry (Sands, performance director) waxes lyrical about his time here and it is great for him to come back to the club, and I am sure he will have a warm welcome.
“I am looking forward to meeting him for the first time.”
Hogg was responsible for elevating Bury to their highest ever level of rugby with two promotions in six years seeing them take their current place in the fourth tier in the country, National League 2 South.
His Old Albanians side are currently three places higher in the table in sixth.
But the hosts have seen an upturn in results, and performances, under their new head coach with Wakley having resided over two victories in their last three outings.
The most recent was Saturday’s 26-5 bonus-point win at bottom-of-the-table London Irish Wild Geese, which he described as ‘a professional performance’.
Although the west London side went ahead with the first try of the match, scores from Tom Browne, Mark Kohler and Alex Grey gave the visitors a 19-5 lead at the interval.
It was always an uphill task for the basement side after Chris Brown was sent off 28 minutes in for what was deemed a head-butt on Yasin Browne.
But Wakley, who saw Kohler’s second try secure the bonus point, felt that had little bearing on the way the game was going.
“After they scored we dominated the game from then on. We played the conditions better and took our tries well,” he said.
“With 15 players I think they would have struggled.”
Wakley is looking for his side to repeat their dominance in the scrum against Hogg’s side tomorrow, seeing that battle as key to the outcome.
He also revealed the club recently signed South African fly-half Werner Nel but the teenager is not yet ready for first XV action.