Head coach Jon Curry believes Bury St Edmunds are in the best position they have been this season, as they prepare to face second-placed Chinnor in the National League 2 South.
The rugby club last weekend beat third-placed Redingensians for the first ever time, pulling off a narrow 27-24 home victory to set them up for this Saturday’s away trip to Oxfordshire (3pm).
The Wolfpack had almost thrown away the win ahead of the final whistle, as two quickfire tries brought the visitors within three points, but The Haberden favourites held out for a famous first club win.
And it is a result that Curry hopes bodes well for the next two fixtures, against first and second in the league, Chinnor and then Cinderford.
He said: “It’s one of the great things about sport, there’s no point testing yourself against anyone but the best, and that’s what we’re doing now.
“The next two games are going to take big efforts but I think the players understand what I want from them now and it shows.
“There were some really good performances on Saturday. The forwards were excellent, really worked hard, and our defence was very good too.
“We stuck at it, we kept going even when they were on the attack and held them off, I’ve seen an improvement in the defence recently.
“The reason is the right attitude I think, the players are keen to learn and develop.
“We’ve identified things we did wrong on Saturday so we can build and improve on that, to do those things a bit better, but otherwise, I want more of the same this weekend.”
Curry said these final games, while being an opportunity to play the league’s best, were also a crucial time for the players who want to stay at The Haberden next season.
“I’m looking at the squad and at who wants to stay,” he said. “I need players around me who are committed and this is a chance for the players to show me that.”
He said Mark Kohler’s Man of the Match performance against Redingensians was the sort of performance he hoped to see from his players.
Bury went in to the game on the back of an impressive away victory over London Irish Wild Geese and got a dream start, with Dwayne Corcoran scoring in the second minute from a Kohler move, with Fraser Honey converting.
The Rams scored a reply try after 20 minutes to take them in 7-7 at the break.
Bury again scored first in the second half, as Liam McBride seized on a charge down to send Collen Smith over, with Honey adding the extras.
But the Rams again came back, powering over from a 5m scrum. McBride edged the Wolfpack ahead again with a penalty before Honey scored his own three-pointer.
Dan Swithenbank then went over for Bury’s final try, converted again by Honey to leave the score at 27-14 and the game seemingly won with less than 10 minutes to go.
But the Reading side kept pushing, scoring two unconverted tries in the final two minutes to leave the score at 27-24 and Bury breathing a last second sigh of relief.
• Meanwhile, Matt Edison will be unavailable on Saturday due to him being on international duty with national side Norway.