Rotherham Titans v Bedford Blues

Saturday, 18 February, 2017 - 14:00
1st XV Championship
Won 21-36

Bedford Blues well and truly exorcised the demons of a fortnight ago by picking up a bonus point win over Rotherham Titans at Clifton Lane on Saturday afternoon..

Not only was this an impressive victory at a difficult ground, but the Blues went about their business in determined fashion and didn’t allow small mistakes to detract from a dominating team display.

Tries from Elliot Clements-Hill, Ollie Dodge, Ben Adams, Jordan Burns and Piers O’Conor did the damage while Myles Dorrian added 11 points from his boot.

“It was an awesome performance and really nice to get the away win,” said Clements-Hill after the final whistle.

“The scrum worked really well, provided us backs with the platform on which to build and we were able to throw it about a bit. If you wanted to be critical, you could say we left a few tries out there but it was a great response following the disappointment at Richmond.

“We knew we had to come out of the blocks firing this afternoon and we did that really well. It set the bar for the afternoon and I think we built on that throughout. Now, we need to carry this performance into next weekend and the visit of Ealing.”

The afternoon started in glorious fashion with the sun beating down and most of the crowd regretting wearing their heavy coats, but things were far hotter on the field as both teams looked to gain an early advantage.

The opening ten minutes was a tense affair with Bedford having an early chance as the kick off wasn't collected and the ball was regathered. Numerous phases followed but Bedford couldn't break through and a knock on ended the move.

Rotherham went on the attack and thought they'd scored in the seventh minute but Paul Tupai had stopped the grounding following a driving maul. Roth had a penalty and sent it to touch but crossing gave the penalty to Bedford and a chance to clear.

But the Blues failure to find touch resulted in the opening try of the afternoon. Rotherham attacked from inside their own half before the ball made its way to Will Owen who danced his way over and Lee Millar converted.

Momentum swung Bedford’s way with a penalty finding touch and the pack making a few yards before the backs were released and Dean Adamson came off his wing to feed Elliot Clements-Hill who dotted down an unconverted try.

Rotherham had a sniff of an attack soon after, but Bedford were over again in the 18th minute as Jason Hill and Adamson linked up well to charge towards the Titans line. The Blues went through phases orchestrated by Tom Whiteley before Ollie Dodge powered over with Dorrian converting.

Bedford were guilty of missing a few chances during the opening 40 as passages of great play weren't finished but in the 39th minute they finally got their reward after Roth overthrew a lineout. Patience was key as the Blues inched forward before Ben Adams jinked his way over and Dorrian converted with the half soon ending 7-19.

More of the same would have been the call in the changing room but Rotherham came out in determined fashion and crossed for their second try in the 48th minute. Sustained pressure paid off as the ball went wide and Jake Henry scored with Millar adding the extras.

The Titans maintained the charge and Bedford had to dig deep in defence in the 51st minute to prevent the hosts finding space. Hard tackling did its job though as the ball was dislodged and the scrum went Bedford’s way.

Bedford started to find more space as the half wore on and good link up play saw the Blues finding ground. A knock to Jason Hill stopped the game but from the scrum restart, Bedford won a penalty and Dorrian stroked it over to make it 14-22.

The Blues finally got the fourth try in the 70th minute. A scrum led to replacement Jordan Burns feeding Dorrian who linked up with Dodge who, in turn, screamed through the defence before offloading to Burns to score and Dorrian converted.

Back came the hosts though as penalties stacked up and the Titans went to the corner. The first lineout drive didn't pay off, but Bedford stopped illegally so a second followed. Again it was stopped illegally so the ref ran under the posts and Millar converted. Tupai carded in the process.

But from the restart the Blues scored again. The hosts failure to secure the ball allowed Bedford to attack and Piers O’Conor found space, brushed off some weak tackles and scored with Dorrian converting to make it 21-36.

Bedford kept the ball in Rotherham’s half and could have stretched a little further ahead but Jake Sharp’s penalty attempt pulled wide of the uprights.

It mattered not though as Bedford saw out the final few minutes and sealed a confidence boosting victory.

Next Home Match

Saturday 21st October
1st XV B&I Cup
Goldington Road
Kick-Off
3.00pm

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Photography

See more pictures courtesy of Nigel Rudgard at

frontrow.photium.com