MATCH REPORT V MOSELEY

Bedford Blues ran in three tries to take the spoils 15-23 against their mid-table rivals in their first Championship clash of 2015 writes Bedfordshire on Sunday.

An outstanding defensive display also ensured the home side failed to secure a vital bonus point even though they piled the pressure on in the final stages. But Team Manager Rob Crowle admitted the players were gutted at not taking a bonus point away from the Midlands.

“We are a little bit disappointed that we only scored three tries, we thought we deserved the winning bonus point especially when Michael Le Bourgeois failed to score when he had the line at his mercy," said Crowle.

“The scrum went really well today and the line-out went well. The first try we scored was something we had been practising all week. We normally drive off a line-out and I think people were beginning to read us for that so this time we did it off the top and Dodgey is very difficult to stop. He went over without a hand being laid on him so they were obviously expecting us to drive.

Crowle said the players were also disappointed to have been penalised so many times, particularly in the first half: “There were some penalties against us that we couldn’t understand,” he added. “We were controlling the scrum and then he gave a penalty against us. We have to look at offside and we have to improve on our discipline because we are just giving opposition teams easy outs.

“They started to niggle us and we just have to ignore that sort of stuff. We know why they do it but we have to ignore it. We have some young players in the side though and they will learn. With so may new players coming in this season, we are on an upward curve.

“We have shown signs of it in the past but consistency is what we need. We certainly have a platform with the forwards now and we know that if we have the ball, we have the backs to do the job.”

The Blues made the perfect start, bagging their first try inside the opening two minutes. Winger Dean Adamson had been foiled by a saving kick into touch by Moseley’s Drew Cheshire but from the resulting line-out, the ball was worked infield where centre Ollie Dodge burst through to score under the posts. James Pritchard’s simple conversion handed the visitors a 7-0 lead.

The home side’s line-out was struggling, but when they did get one right, it saw them post their first points of the game on ten minutes. The ball was worked right across the field to prop Stefan Thorp who was held up in the corner but referee Simon Harding pulled play back for an earlier Bedford offside in front of the posts and Ollie Thomas duly slotted over.

But the visitors always looked the more dangerous with the ball in hand and they ran in a second try just three minutes later when a high kick ahead, a favoured tactic throughout the opening period, was gathered by Josh Buggea. And when he was denied, the ball was again kicked forward and this time winger Pat Tapley picked up and slid over the line for an unconverted score. Moseley duly sent on replacement hooker Reece Marshall and this at least gave them more accuracy at the line-out.

And with the Blues giving away a series of penalties, the Birmingham side slowly hauled their way back into contention. Thomas kicked a second penalty on 18 minutes and although he missed a long-range effort soon after, he kicked his third of the game on 24 minutes after a rolling maul had been pulled down short of the line.

Further chances were then limited as the game started to get bogged down in the damp conditions. Bedford did create a good opportunity just shy of the half-hour when Mike Le Bouregois looked to have done enough for a third Blues try only to knock on as he slithered over the line having been tackled by Moseley lock Greg Charlton.

Pritchard and Thomas exchanged penalties early in the second period and it was the visitors who managed to cross for the only try of a nervy half.

With just three points separating the sides, Mike Rayer’s side finally eased clear on 67 minutes when scrum-half Darryl Veenendaal gathered from the base of a scrum 20 metres out and darted down the blindside to score in the corner.

Moseley tried in vain to close to within seven to secure a losing bonus point, but with the Blues defence resolute, there was no way through.

The victory ensures a fine start to 2015 for the Blues and builds on their encouraging performance on Boxing Day, when they pushed leaders Bristol all the way despite losing 28-24.

Bedford are seventh in the Championship and six points adrift of the top four ahead of hosting Doncaster Knights at Goldington Road on Saturday.

Next Home Match

Friday 23rd August
1st XV Pre Season
Goldington Road
Kick-Off
7.45pm

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