Geese Wings clipped!
The Wolfpack's early dominance rewarded by another 5 point Home Win!
National Division 2
Bury St Edmunds 35 London Irish Wild Geese 24
The Wolfpack had enough in the bank to see off a spirited Irish revival to take the points at a bitterly cold IPA Haberden.
9 tries suggests the game was a thriller but with numerous stoppages for injuries and re set scrums etc, the match lasted over a 100 minutes and left most of the crowd desperate for the warming sanctuary of the clubhouse rather than wanting for more!
With icy winds and the Christmas Fayre in town, the hardy souls will have taken comfort in the result that sees Bury edge up to within a point of 4th place in National 2!
The hosts recovered from going behind on just 4 minutes to take a lead they never really looked like surrendering long term. The Irish first meaningful spell with the ball was kept alive until the dangerous Hodgkinson and Owens combined for the left wing to dance his way over.
Bury’s dominance in the set piece quickly got them on top. A penalty earned at a scrum allowed McBride to land a simple kick before he then converted Corcoran’s try minutes later. Bixby seized on an overthrown lineout to supply McBride. The skipper’s long cut out pass found Lord who in turn sent Kohler sprinting away. When Corcoran received the ball he still had work to do but he stepped inside the first tackler and then had enough speed to avoid the next for a score by the posts.
The Geese did briefly re take the lead, Second Row Moore powering his way over from close range after Bury could not take advantage of another fine Kohler break. Bury have learnt painfully to their cost previously, not to kick to the dangerous back 3 at London Irish and today the game plan was far more effective. The ball stayed closer to hand and the Bury forwards were in no mood to let the Irish beak free as they turned the heat up at scrum time with Brown and Coutts dominating their opponents.
A penalty try was deservedly awarded on the half hour mark and pressure told again before the interval when Scholes fine steal in the line out allowed the ball to be recycled several times before Yas Browne was bundled over from close range.
BURY 22 LONDON IRISH 12
The Wild Geese cause had not been helped by losing a man to the bin and Bury had taken advantage at the end of the half and were to do so again!
The second half was barely a minute old when an alert Sam Bixby stole the ball from a ruck to release the Bury threequarters and Corcoran helped himself to his second try against his native countrymen.
Before the Irish could take stock, they had conceded again! Man of the Match Kohler once again broke free in midfield, Stapleton carried further when he was stopped 10 metres out this time it was Full Back Lord, up in support, to round the move off. Thrilling stuff!
A scrappy final 25 minutes, not helped by numerous stoppages, saw the Wild Geese score two tries of their own to claim a bonus point. Scrum Half Grant’s show and go saw him scamper over from 10 metres and then second row Drive forced the ball down following a well excecuted catch and drive.
Bury seemed to have lost their way a little, a trait that has affected them a few times this season after they have built up a healthy lead. The discipline levels dropped and they were forced to back pedal for much of the final quarter.
Irish finished the game the stronger, looking for a 5th try that would have got them in losing bonus point territory, but appropriately, Kohler stole the ball to allow his skipper to kick the ball from the field.
Bury 35 Irish 24
The win gives Bury a strong platform to go into their 3 toughest fixtures of the season to date. A trip to 4th placed Reading next week is then followed with games against leaders Chinnor and then second place Cinderford! It does not get any easier, but the players and staff will relish the challenge!