1st XV News

Doing the double over any team always leaves a good taste, but it will be extra sweet for Doncaster Knights if they can close the gap to Championship leaders Bristol Rugby with victory in the first-versus-second clash this weekend.

Coming into Round 19, the Knights sit ten points adrift of their title rivals with four regular season games left to play.

If reeling in that difference was not motivation enough, hosts Doncaster will welcome their opponents to Castle Park still smarting from a disappointing British and Irish Cup quarter-final exit at the hands of Cornish Pirates.

With four games left in the Greene King IPA Championship season, Bedford Blues are delighted to confirm one new signing along with two re-signings for the 2016/17 campaign.

Lock Will Carrick-Smith is heading to Goldington Road having signed on from fellow Championship side London Scottish. The second row star who stands at an impressive six feet 11 inches and tips the scales at 129kg (that’s 20 stone 4lb) has had one season at the Exiles having previously gained Premiership experience with Exeter Chiefs.

The final 2016 Six Nations fixture will be screened live on the big screen in the Scrum Bar this Saturday night as England face France with the opportunity of sealing the Grand Slam.

In a slight change to the original plans, doors now open at 7:30pm on the evening, ready for the big 8pm kick off with Happy Hour prices available on most draught beers.

Food will not be being served, but you are more than welcome to bring your own, whether it's pizza or picnic, but strictly no drink allowed. Support your club by watching England with a few reduced priced beers.

Bedford Blues' Piers O'Conor has been named February's Greene King IPA Championship Player of the Month. The fullback won the title after securing top spot in a public vote, with Doncaster's Matt Challinor coming in second.
 
Twenty year old O'Conor was nominated in February's line up after proving a revelation for the club during their march back to the top six of the Championship table. After playing for England in the World Rugby U20 Championship final last June, O'Conor has continued his excellent form to stake a regular claim for the Blues coveted fullback shirt.

Bedford Blues went out of the British and Irish Cup on Friday evening as they went down 15-19 to Jersey - you can see all of the tries HERE.

The Islanders have proven to be the thorn in the side for Mike Rayer's men this season as they have racked up their third win wins out of three in the league and cup.

Bedford were left massively frustrated at the final whistle as they did have opportunities to win the tie but on one too many occasions the greasy ball slipped out of hand - most notably when Piers O’Conor made a fantastic break with Pat Tapley in support but the winger just couldn’t grasp the odd shaped ball.

British & Irish Cup action returns to Goldington Road on Friday night as Bedford Blues play host to Jersey in the Quarter-Final of the competition.
 
While the Islanders have two victories over the Blues in the Greene King IPA Championship, Bedford have been in superb form in the cup with the only blot on the page being an away loss to Bristol in the Pool stage.
 
Bedford make two changes in the backs to the team that came from behind to beat Ealing Trailfinders in the league last weekend with Jordan Burns and Jake Sharp starting at scrum half and fly half respectively while Sam James, James Currie and Paul Tupai all start in the pack.
 

It’s Cup Quarter Final week at Goldington Road as Blues head straight back into home action this Friday against Jersey in the British & Irish Cup knockout fixture (Kick Off 19:45).

Following Saturday’s thrilling comeback win versus Ealing Trailfinders, the Bedford boys return to confident spirits ahead of the Friday night lights match where they again meet the Channel Islanders who have managed to get the better of Mike Rayer’s men twice already this season.

The Blues will be hunting a revenge mission with a semi-final berth at place away at either Yorkshire Carnegie or Moseley the following weekend.

Bedford Blues fullback Piers O'Conor has been nominated for The Greene King IPA Championship Player of the Month for February and he needs your vote to take the title.

O’Conor has proven to be a revelation for the Blues during their march back to the top four of the Championship table. After playing for England in the World Rugby U20 Championship final last June, O’Conor has kept the likes of club stalwarts James Pritchard and Steffan Jones out of the club’s fullback shirt. Already touching down seven times this season including against Ealing Trailfinders at the weekend, his electrifying pace suggests he’ll have plenty more to add to that tally before the campaign concludes.

As much as I don’t want to say it, it really was a game of two halves at Goldington Road on Saturday afternoon as Bedford Blues recovered from 7-24 down to beat Ealing Trailfinders 33-24.

Despite a second minute try, the Blues were on the back foot during the opening 40 with a resurgent Ealing running in three converted tries and a penalty to lead by 17 at the break.

Whatever was said at the interval had the desired effect as Bedford shut up shop in defence and scored four tries to win the game and send their fans home happy.

Bedford Blues return to Goldington Road this weekend for a crucial Greene King IPA Championship game against Ealing Trailfinders.

The Blues head into the encounter off the back of two league defeats to Jersey and Rotherham, and they know that Ealing will be fighting for everything as they try to put some light between themselves and Moseley at the bottom of the table.

Bedford have been left disappointed with their last two league outings, but will be doing everything that they can to get back on track as they look to finish the season on a high.

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Friday 19th August
1st XV Pre Season
Goldington Road
Kick-Off
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