Richmond v Bedford Blues
Bedford Blues were on the receiving end of a 49-26 hiding on Saturday afternoon as bottom side Richmond showed they had more than enough grit and determination to stay in the Championship regardless of relegation no longer being a factor.
For the neutral it was a great afternoon out with 11 tries being scored in total, but for the travelling Blues contingent, it was another frustrating afternoon which started brightly but quickly fizzled out.
Bedford had dominated the opening exchanges and took the lead when fullback George Perkins was played into space and the dual-registered Saracen broke through a tackle to dot down in the corner with Jake Sharp smashing a perfect conversion.
But the joy soon turned to despair as the home side fired back with four first half tries – the first almost immediately from the restart when Will Browne made a superb break and with support all around him, he linked up with Chris Davies before Rob Kirby slotted the extras – something he would do regularly.
Bedford seemed to have settled and were soon on the front foot, but a loose pass was gathered by Cameron Mitchell who made yards before the Blues conceded a penalty which went to touch. The Richmond lineout did its job and Jack Allcock claimed the try which was converted.
Things got no better for the Blues as another Richmond attack saw a ruck form in the Bedford 22 and scrum half Sam Stuart spotted the gap and sniped his way over with the conversion successful once again.
Bedford cause wasn’t helped by their discipline and the referee finally lost patience with Josh Buggea being sent to the sin bin as the penalties racked up. Richmond didn’t need a second invite with the numerical advantage the ball was played to Mitchell who crashed over with Kirby converting.
The Blues appeared to have received the proverbial ‘hairdryer’ treatment at the interval and came out in determined mood. Sharp made a good break following a ruck and drew in Kirby before offloading to Jordan Burns who wasn’t going to be caught. Sharp converted to make it 28-14 and the possibility of a comeback was on the cards.
That hope was wiped out pretty quickly though as Jon Woodward broke through the Blues defence to score and Kirby Converted to make it 35-14.
Bedford responded with a close range effort from Dan George which went unconverted, but the hosts stretched further ahead when Will Browne benefited from a break by Rory Damant, before Mitchell got his second of the game. One converted by Kirby, the other by Freddie Gabbitass.
The last word – or whisper – went to Bedford though as Pat Tapley made great ground to seal one point for the Blues and Sharp converted before the ref ended proceedings.