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Coach Wakley insists Bury will need to improve against Canterbury

PUBLISHED: 08:55 08 December 2018

Sean Stapleton, set to play for Canterbury against his old club Bury St Edmunds at The Haberden. Picture: ANDY ABBOTT

Sean Stapleton, set to play for Canterbury against his old club Bury St Edmunds at The Haberden. Picture: ANDY ABBOTT

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Bury St Edmunds new head coach, Nick Wakley, was delighted with his side’s first outing under his tutelage last weekend, which culminated in a first win in six matches.

However, today’s opponents Canterbury are likely to pose a bigger threat than last Saturday’s hosts, Birmingham & Solihull, who currently prop up the National League Two South table.

Bury raced into a 19-0 lead before holding on, when reduced to 14 and then 13 men (for a 10-minute spell), to record a 33-17 victory in the Midlands.

It was only the Wolfpack’s second win in the last nine matches, keeping them a healthy 12 points clear of the drop zone.

Today’s visitors, Canterbury (kick-off 3pm at The Haberden), are riding high in second spot, although they are nine points adrift of the Rams, having lost three matches, all on the road.

Canterbury are set in include three former Bury players in their squad, in the shape of Sean Stapleton, Sam Sterling and Louis Whetton.

“It was a key win last weekend, and I liked the way the team went about it,” enthused coach Wakley.

“I think Birmingham are in a false position in the league, so it was a nice victory. We knew that we had to start well, because we didn’t want to give them something to hold onto.

“They are fighting for their survival, but we managed to put the knife in early on. Then even when we went down to 13 men, we defended really well and chocked them.

“We need to improve, especially in our game management, which let us down a couple of times.

“That needs to get better, but we are a young side, just as I am a young coach.

“Canterbury will prove a hard test, and the fixture is given extra spice by the two or three ex-Bury players in their ranks.

“Canterbury are second in the table for a reason. Their set piece looks solid, and they have good jumpers in the line-out,” added Welshman Wakley.

Bury captain Ollie Watson went off injured last weekend, but he should be fit to start today.

Wakley confirmed: “Ollie was taken out, off the ball. He was not prepared for the knock that he took, but he’s itching to start this weekend and he is instrumental to us as a group. He should be OK – we have a great medical set-up.”

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