ROCHFORD Hundred will be hoping for a case of third time lucky when they head to Bury St Edmunds this weekend.

Rochford have been beaten in their first two matches in National Two South.

But Hundred’s first head coach Danny Cleare has not been surprised by the step up in standard.

“The season has gone as expected in terms of difficulty,” said Cleare.

“It’s a big step up from London Prem and every mistake or inaccuracy is punished in this league.

“We’ve played two hard teams which have posed different problems.

“Esher were electric and dynamic from one to 15 and could score from anywhere.

“Whereas Guernsey had some big powerful backs that kept breaking tackles.”

But Cleare is fully aware of where his side need to improve.

“We were obviously happy to score four tries this week but we’ve conceded 40 points again and fixing our defence and one up tackles is something that needs improving if we want to win matches,” said Cleare.

“One of the hardest parts of the season so far has been managing a small squad that is picking up injuries.

“But I know this is a common problem for all clubs and something you just have to get on with.”

However, Cleare is also confident his squad are capable of reaching new levels.

“We didn’t go into the season with our eyes closed so we knew what we was up against and we knew the challenges that were ahead of us,” said Cleare.

“Of course no one likes losing but we’re working hard to improve.

“We also have a pretty young squad that is only going to improve as the season goes on.

“In the last few weeks we’ve had about 10 lads between 19 and 23 years of age playing regular minutes.

“The experience they are getting week in week out playing at this level and learning from players like Harry Hudson and Mark Billings etc is invaluable.

“I also believe as the year goes on we’ll get stronger because of this.”

But Cleare is expecting another stern test this weekend against Bury St Edmunds.

“Bury will be another tough test,” said Cleare.

“They had their best ever finish last season and have strengthened again.

“But we’ll go there and do our best to get a result.”

Bury St Edmunds have triumphed once in their two games so far this season and are coached by Westcliff’s former director of rugby Jacob Ford.