Richmond v Bedford Blues

Saturday, 22 December, 2018 - 15:15
1st XV Championship
Won 11-27

Bedford Blues showed true grit and determination to break down a stubborn Richmond side to record their fifth Championship win on the bounce on Saturday afternoon.

With the scores tied at six all at the interval, Bedford slowly turned the screw to run in three tries through Ryan Hutler, Jarad Williams and Dean Adamson while Will Hooley added a penalty and a drop goal.

Speaking at full time, Williams said: “We’s spoken all week about what a tough game it was going to be and Richmond proved what a tough team they are to put away. We knew it might take 60 minutes, 70 minutes but we had to stick at it and just do our thing and we eventually got the win.”

Captain Lee Dickson added: “We had to work really hard to get ourselves in that game and credit to Richmond. Will (Hooley) kicked superbly to give us territory and we knew that we had to raise the tempo in the second half. We played in the right areas and then managed to grind them down scoring three good tries along the way.”

Richmond started the game in fine fashion and pegged the Blues back from the off. An early penalty gave an early lineout,but Mark Flanagan was on hand to pinch and the clearance was made.

The hosts continued to press and another penalty set up a shot at the posts, but Lewis Dennett pulled the shot wide of the uprights.

Bedford started to enjoy a bit more possession from the restart and a couple of penalties set up an attacking platform, but Ryan Hutler had no joy as he looked to break down the right wing following build up from Lee Dickson and Lewis Robling.

Advantage came back to Richmond when a Blues clearance kick went out on the full. The attacking lineout then produced a penalty which scrum half Luc Jones took quickly and set up wave after wave of pick and go attacks but Jacob Fields got underneath the ball to prevent the try. Richmond won a free kick from the resulting scrum and then a penalty which Rob Kirby slotted to make 3-0.

The Blues sparked into life as Will Hooley timed a perfect pass to Fields who made huge yardage with Alex Penny, Sean McCarthy and Josh Buggea all getting in on the act before a penalty followed for offside. Hooley lined up the shot and sent it through the middle of the posts to level the scores.

Bedford had a chance to take the lead moments later after Dean Adamson’s dancing feet found room and Ryan Hutler carried well resulting in Richmond being offside. Hooley once again stepped up and chipped the ball over the bar to make it 3-6.

Bedford started to settle and looked very comfortable but the final pass was letting them down a little. Richmond responded well and when the Blues were pinged for a high tackle, Kirby slotted the penalty to level the game once more.

The Blues started to make the most of the ball and went through a succession of phases following a great Adamson break. Oli Curry, Jarad Williams and Ed Taylor all carried well as Bedford went through 14 phases, but the Blues seemed to be in too much of a rush and decided to chip ahead allowing Richmond to gather and clear.

Bedford had one final attack at the end of the game off the back of a lineout, but the Richmond defence was certainly on point and wouldn’t allow the Blues to penetrate the gain line, so Dickson made the choice to put the ball to touch and regather at the interval.

The Blues looked to make ground early in the second half with Rich Lane being the main man at finding space but once again, Richmond’s defence was strong and withstood the attack. Neither team was making too many yards, so the kicking game was applied by both teams with little real effect.

There was a flurry of activity in the 49th minute when the Blues backs made a good break from the back of a scrum with Adamson chipping ahead, but Richmond covered and found touch.

Bedford then turned the game around with two tries in ten minutes despite a quarter of an hour of frustration following more stubborn defence. The breakthrough came in the 55th following a patient build up by the Blues before Hooley sent a delightful pass through to Adamson who made good ground and then played in Ryan Hutler who had the gas to make the line for the unconverted try.

Things almost went wrong from the restart as Flanagan did his best Ken Owens impression and looking so guilty that even Roman Poite would have awarded the penalty. Richmond went to the corner, but Flanagan more than made up for it as he pinched the lineout ball which then resulted in Robling punting the ball into the hosts 22 and they were forced to put the ball to touch. Bedford won a penalty and went to touch again before securing the lineout only to be illegally stopped. Playing the advantage, McCarthy came close but Williams was much closer as he dotted down with the TMO agreeing with the referee’s decision.

Both sides started making use of the bench with Ben Cooper, Tadgh McElroy, Will Carrick-smith and Justin Blanchet adding grunt to the pack while Alex Gliksten and Ed Coulson proved instrumental in the backs as Hooley added a 67th minute penalty to extend Bedford’s lead.

Richmond continued to push and they got their reward with ten minutes left on the clock. Too many penalties from the Blues gave them a great attacking platform and following a series of pick-and-go attacks, Max Davies crashed over but Kirby pulled the conversion wide leaving the score at 11-19.

Bedford soaked up a lot of pressure following the restart and gradually made their way up the pitch with Hayden King making good headway after coming on. A solid scrum saw the Blues make yards before Gliksten saw Hooley in the pocket and the USA international slotted a drop goal to make it 11-22.

The game finished in style though with a wonderful try from the Blues that truly put the icing on top of the cake. Deep in their own 22, Bedford ran the ball with Coulson crashing his way through having linked up with Hooley and Lane. Saracens duo Gliksten and McElroy then made good ground before Hooley fed Williams and the big number eight - who picked up the Greene King Man of the Match award- hurtled forward before playing in Carrick-Smith who released a sublime one-handed pass to Adamson who showed a clean pair of heels to wrap up the 11-27 win.

Richmond: 15 Rob Kirby, 14 Jono Woodward, 13 Henry Cheeseman, 12 Ronnie McLean, 11 Marcus Webber, 10 Lewis Dennett, 9 Luc Jones, 1 Will Goodrick-Clarke (37 1st XV caps) 2 Ross Grimstone (77) 3 Craig Trenier (37) 4 Will Warden (171) 5 Max Davies (3) 6 Jake Parker (captain, 35) 7 Jesse Liston (34) 8 Ed Milne

Replacements: 16 Gino Corradi, 17 Timmy Walford, 18 Dave Spelman, 19 Charlie Lenygon, 20 Toby Saysell, 21 Jamie Gibbs, 22 Freddie Gabbitass

Bedford Blues: 15. Rich Lane, 14. Ryan Hutler, 13. Lewis Robling, 12. Chris Czekaj, 11. Dean Adamson, 10. Will Hooley, 9. Lee Dickson (c), 1. Sean McCarthy, 2. Jacob Fields, 3. Alex Penny, 4. Ed Taylor, 5. Mark Flanagan, 6. Oli Curry, 7. Josh Buggea, 8. Jarad Williams

Replacements: 16. Tadgh McElroy, 17. Hayden King, 18. Ben Cooper, 19. Will Carrick-Smith, 20. Justin Blanchet, 21. Alex Gliksten, 22. Ed Coulson

Attendance: 2098

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