Bury St Edmunds ready to take on the rejuvenated Hawks
PUBLISHED: 09:00 11 November 2017
Henley Hawks might be below Bury St Edmunds in the National League Two South table, with five wins from 10 matches, but they made a statement of intent last weekend with an impressive win at then-leaders Taunton Titans.
Bury travel to Henley today, hoping to make it four wins on the bounce and so cement their top-six berth.
But they will have to be on their guard against a rejuvenated Henley, who became the first team to beat Taunton thanks to a 42-31 success in Somerset seven days ago.
Bury head coach, Ollie Smith, is delighted with the progress shown by his side in recent weeks, culminating in a strong 37-19 win over Clifton last weekend. But he is wary about today’s challenge.
“Henley had an outstanding result at Taunton,” admitted Smith. “They are the first team to beat them this season, and they beat them convincingly, so we have to look on this as being a very tough fixture for us.
“It was certainly an eye-catching result.
“Ten games into the season and the top three have only lost one game between them, while we have already lost three, so we are really playing catch-up.
“But we have got to play all of them – and three of the top four twice– so we are not out of touch.
“We have found some form, and it’s been a big focus for us to improve on all aspects of our game, including the tempo, physicality, attitude and the way we have come back from the brink.
“It was another great result last weekend (against Clifton). I thought we controlled the game from start to finish, although it was by no means an easy win.
“We struggled in the set-piece at times, and it’s unusual that the team who had such a good drive from the line-out and such dominance in the scrum should be the losing one.
“Yet we’ve won, because we were good defensively and also attack-wise in open play.
“Clifton’s pack was really good, which is a shame for us because our pack has been getting better in recent weeks. Yet we were dominant in the tackle, and got our running rugby going.”
BURY: Smith, King, Coutts, Scholes, Bixby, Mitchell, Stapleton, Edison. Anderson-Brown, Honey, Corcoran, Rouse, Kohler, Snelling, Lord. Replacements: Davis, Stanley,