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Third successive loss prompts Smith to evaluate weak points

WELL-FOUGHT VICTORY: Bury III beat leaders Thurston in Division One West of the Eastern Counties league
WELL-FOUGHT VICTORY: Bury III beat leaders Thurston in Division One West of the Eastern Counties league

Ollie Smith wants Bury St Edmunds Rugby Club to gift themselves an early Christmas present on Saturday, with a home win over Broadstreet.

It is the Wolfpack’s final fixture of 2017 in National Tw South and Smith hopes his side can overturn a three-match losing streak — albeit coming against the top three sides — to end the year on a positive note.

The team are still reeling from Saturday’s high scoring 45-29 defeat to second-placed Cinderford, a result Smith says is only mitigated by the try-scoring bonus point.

They have now dropped to mid-table eighth following the successive defeats, their worst run so far this season.

Smith said: “We knew it was going to be a hard run for us, we knew they were very good sides, so now we have to put that behind us and bounce back.

“It’s been tough, we’ve lost the last four of the last five so we do need a big win.

“Partly to remind ourselves how good it is to win but also to show how high our ambitions are still.

“We’ve tested ourselves, playing as fast as we can and there’s more to come.

“But, for now, we’ve fallen a bit short against the top sides.

“It shows how big that gap is though, that even though we came close against Chinnor, we couldn’t get over the line.

“And, against Cinderford we were beaten in the pack — the real difference between the top teams and the rest at this level is the strength of the pack.

“It’s definitely an area we need to boost. We need a pack that can be more competitive.

“But we also have some players who had a great year. Chris Lord has been brilliant, and Dwayne Corcoran has scored a few too — although they started with Chris at full-back.”

He added the team were also struggling with a number of ongoing injury concerns, many out with concussion or other set-time lay-offs, and the break had arrived at the right time. But first they take on second-from-bottom Broadstreet (3pm).

n In the Eastern Counties Division One West, Bury St Edmunds III recorded a narrow 31-27 home victory over league leaders Thurston on Saturday.

It was not enough to knock Thurston off their perch at the top but helped the team, currently lying in fifth, close the gap on an important fourth.

After the Christmas break, the division has two more fixtures apiece before the league is split in two.

The top four then compete against the top four from Division One North and Division One South for promotion to London Division Three, while the bottom four compete with their north and south counterparts to avoid relegation.

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