Leeds Carnegie v Bedford Blues
Bedford were thrashed at Headingley on Sunday afternoon by Championship high flyers Leeds who ran in six tries. The Blues could not click into gear at all on a chilly Sunday afternoon as their hosts played almost all of the quick flowing and expansive rugby. Errors, poor handling and indiscipline cost Bedford who will want to forget about this game quickly following an upturn in form of late. They could not cross the whitewash and only had two James Pritchard penalties to show for their afternoon's work.
Blues suffered a disastrous start when Jonah Holmes' run from deep saw him dissect the entire visiting team and charge through under the posts with barely a minute played.
Glyn Hughes converted for an early 7-0 lead but Blues, to their credit, responded with a spell of pressure immediately and Patrick Tapley was unlucky not to go over in the corner.
Bedford had to make do with a James Pritchard penalty to get their first points on the board but Hughes responded with a kick through the uprights of his own to hand Leeds a 10-3 advantage.
It should have been 13-3 shortly afterwards but Hughes was horribly off target from right in front of the posts, but his team continued to press and David Doherty was just pushed out of bounds as he tried to touch down near the flag.
Hughes rediscovered his kicking boots with a much trickier effort with just over ten minutes left in the half as his side opened up a ten point lead.
Blues could not afford any more daylight between the sides but their task was made more difficult when Joe Vandermolen was yellow-carded for a high tackle.
Leeds took advantage of the numbers game with Ben Hooper barging over following a scrum for their second try and an 18-3 lead after Hughes missed the extras.
Pritchard dissected the posts for Bedford moments later but Blues' indiscipline was costing them and another Hughes penalty rounded off the half with Leeds 21-6 in front.
Mike Rayer's men had a mountain to climb but they didn't learn the lessons of the first half and conceded another early try shortly after the restart.
Ryan Burrows fed Richard Beck who in turn released to Doherty who sprinted away for a fine score under the posts.
Hughes converted and quickly added another penalty to stretch the lead to 31-6, with Leeds then going over for a bonus point try thanks to Rob Vickerman who crashed down in the corner. The conversion was missed but the damage was long since done.
Paul Tupai, returning to the Blues fold following suspension, was then binned as a miserable afternoon in Yorkshire drew to a close with a nasty injury to Blues man Tom Jubb - who was carried off.
There was still time for a Carnegie penalty try though - following a huge scrum - and another Vickerman try after a darting run. Both were converted by replacement Alex Lozowski as the hosts brought up their half century.
MATCH REPORT COURTESY OF BEDFORDSHIRE ON SUNDAY