SSE NATIONAL LEAGUE
AND SOUTH EAST
Bury St Edmunds 42
Bury St Edmunds coach Gavin Hogg is looking to take inspiration from tomorrow’s opponents Thurrock, after sealing a maiden National League win.
Bury welcome the Essex side to The Haberden (3pm) in buoyant mood having tasted success at national level for the first time following a convincing victory over Barking, courtesy of tries from Tanimo Samoa, Beau Gibson, Dave Ormrod, Dan Garrard and Ben Radmall, with Will Martin adding the extras.
And after seeing tomorrow’s opponents follow promotion from London One North a year before Bury and sustain their place in the current division, Hogg is eager to follow in their footsteps.
“It is nice to get a victory under the belt early in the season as that’s one less pressure to worry about,” he said.
“My only worry is that we took our foot off the gas in the second half. We can’t afford to do that at this level so there are still a few things to tweak.
“It will be interesting to see how things have changed at Thurrock since they were promoted because I think they are going through a transitional phase.
“We can take a bit of inspiration from them because as with other promoted sides, they managed to stay up and do well.
“I think a lot of it has to do with the momentum of promotion and that is something we will be looking to focus on, particularly early in the season, to give us a good crack at this league.”
Two early penalties put Barking 6-0 clear, but Bury finally got a foothold 13 minutes in when Martin landed a penalty and — directly from the restart — Samoa slipped through two weak tackles to skip in by the posts for a converted try.
However, as it was to be throughout the match, after a short burst of quality play Bury incurred the wrath of the referee with needless or silly penalties, which led to the inevitable sinbinning of Radmall.
Depsite being down to 14 men, Bury scored next when they counter-attacked and, from 40 metres out, Gibson battered his way through the first line of defence, swatted away another tackle and still had the legs to outpace the final man for an outrageous try.
However, Bury messed up the restart and immediately conceded a penalty, before Logan Dodds fell foul of the official and was sent to the sinbin, allowing Barking to claw their way back to 15-12 behind.
Radmall, back on the field after his earlier indiscretion, blasted through the middle and linked with Gibson, Charlie Pask and Samoa, who slipped the ball to Ormrod for his first try for the club.
Martin’s conversion made it 22-15 and, a few minutes later, the full-back weaved his way 45 metres downfield to combine with Ormrod to set up Garrard for a converted try.
The second half started where it had finished off in the first with Bury playing some exhilarating rugby.
Martin mesmerised the home defence before offloading to Radmall for a simple converted try, but Bury were the makers of their own problems again when Barking were awarded a penalty try.
A drop goal and an unconverted try followed to make it 39-27, but Martin made the game safe with a late penalty.