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Wolfpack ‘on the verge’ of great season after third win in a row

STRONG PERFORMANCE: Sean Stapleton, alongside Sam Bixby and Harry Anderson-Brown, were praised for their performances against Barnstaple. Picture: Shawn Pearce
STRONG PERFORMANCE: Sean Stapleton, alongside Sam Bixby and Harry Anderson-Brown, were praised for their performances against Barnstaple. Picture: Shawn Pearce

Ollie Smith is pleased by Bury St Edmunds RUFC recording their third successive victory, but admits he is still unsure how they will fare across the season.

The new head coach called for more desire and commitment from his side following their opening-day annihilation to Tonbridge Juddians, and he has received it in abundance as the team have remained unbeaten since.

Their latest victory was a seven-try display on the road to Barnstaple in the National League Two South, where they ran away winners by 39-24.

But Smith said the real tests were yet to come for the team, as their opponents were all in the bottom half of the table, save Tonbridge, who had beaten them.

He said: “It’s great to get some wins under our belt, it was very obvious we needed to improve and I feel we have done that — we’re getting better and better.

“Barnstaple had a good start to the season, coming into it with two wins and a loss like us, so I’m very pleased with how we took them on and played some good rugby.

“I’m also very happy to secure that bonus point.

“But I’m still not sure of how the season will go, the teams we’ve played are new to this level, and in the bottom half.

“There are some very tough games ahead — we’re on the verge of a really good season, but it could still go either way.

“This weekend we host Wimbledon, and it’s a really good opportunity.”

Wimbledon have failed to win a game this season, but Smith said they should not be discounted.

“We were too relaxed about our opening game, and it was a huge wake-up call,” he said. “We won’t make that mistake again.”

Wimbledon will visit The Haberden on Saturday (3pm).

And Bury will hope to reproduce last week’s fine display against Barnstaple, holding their own against a much heavier pack.

But skipper Liam McBride had a bad day with the boot, converting only two of nine kicks to limit the score line.

Sam Bixby drove over from the five metre line out to score the first and, within two minutes, Bury had doubled their lead as some great phases led to a Tui Uru try.

The hosts then enjoyed their best spell in the match, scoring two tries to take a 17–10 lead. But Bury got back on terms after an incredible break by Chris Lord for their third try.

Scrum-half Harry Anderson-Brown was instrumental in getting them back in front, leading to prop Scott Brown scoring. A half-time lead of 22 – 17 was boosted further by Collen Smith on the game’s return before Sean Stapleton scored the team’s sixth try.

But Barnstaple were given a lifeline when Bury gifted them a try to narrow the margin to only eight points, but the visitors held firm in defence.

Guillaume Duplenne scored one final try to cement the win and see the team go into this weekend’s match with the momentum.


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