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Match Report v Yorkshire Carnegie

Posted: 13th October 2019

Bedford Blues kicked off the 2019/20 Championship season with a 14-34 bonus point win at Yorkshire Carnegie on Sunday afternoon.

Having suffered three defeats in the Championship Cup, the Blues ran in six tries through Pat Tapley, Matt Worley, Henry Paul, Robbie Smith, Ryan Hutler and Rich Lane to take the maximum five points from the league opener.

Despite a strong start from the home side, the Blues found themselves a converted try up within two minutes thanks to some sloppy handling from Carnegie. A dropped ball was gathered up by Pat Tapley who turned on the gas to run clear setting up a simple conversion.

Despite Carnegie’s many off field challenges, their team were putting in a big shift during the opening ten minutes and were left massively disappointed not to have come away with any points following a succession of phases that inched them into Bedford’s 22 only to be denied.

A good break from Fraser Strachan got the Blues heading upfield soon after, but the Carnegie defence was quick to it and managed to turn the ball back over and clear their lines.

The Blues struck again 18th minute courtesy of an overthrown Carnegie lineout. The Blues broke with a smart inside pass to Matt Worley releasing the centre and he galloped clear for the unconverted score.

Any thoughts that the Blues were going to have it all their own way were quickly expelled in the 22nd minute when Tom Varndell set the wheels in motion with a fine run and exchange of passes which resulted in Tim Bitrim crossing the whitewash with Joe Ford adding the extras.

Carnegie started to find themselves on the wrong side of Mr Smales’ whistle and the Blues nudged the ball into touch to set up an attacking lineout on the half hour mark but the ball was wonky and the home side were off the hook.

But the Blues made no such mistake as the half came to an end with another penalty that was dispatched to touch. The Blues lineout maul did its job with Henry Paul dotting down from the back to make it 7-17 with a couple of minutes left before the break.

It was almost a perfect first 40 for the Blues in terms of scoring as Bitrim made a howler of a clearance kick which resulted in Grayson Hart going over, but an offside was called in the build-up and the referee brought the half to an end.

Lewis Robling sent a 44th minute penalty into touch down the left with the pack going forward but the ref called for another penalty and chalked off what looked a try. It mattered not though as the Blues forwards did the job once again with Robbie Smith crossing but once again there were no extras.

Both teams were reduced to 14 men when a bout of handbags - and not the first in the game - resulted in Oli Curry and Guy Graham being carded, but the Blues extended their lead with a fine score from Ryan Hutler who was on the end of a flowing move which started from a safe lineout ball. Robling added the extras from in front of the uprights to make it 7-29 to Bedford.

The Blues ran in a superb sixth try off the back of another Carnegie mistake as Varndell spilled the ball with Bedford sending a looping pass over the top to Rich Lane who went on a mazing run to make the score 7-34.

Carnegie weren’t rolling over though and they got a deserved second try following a great run from Ryan Shaw who sent the ball out to Varndell who played in Jamie Elliot for the score which was converted by Ford to make it 14-34 with 20 minutes remaining.

The Blues attempted to turn the screw as they hunted further scores, but Carnegie were defiant in defence and soaked up a lot of pressure on their try line before winning a penalty at the scrum and relieving the pressure but there was little more to come as the game fizzled out.



15. Rich Lane, 14. Pat Tapley, 13. Matt Worley, 12. Fraser Strachan, 11. Ryan Hutler, 10. Lewis Robling, 9. Grayson Hart; 1. Sean McCarthy (capt) 2. Robbie Smith, 3. Henry Paul, 4. Jordan Onojaife, 5. Oli Curry, 6. Dan Temm, 7. Joe Atkinson, 8. Huw Worthington.


16. Andrew Boye, 17. Joe Wrafter, 18. Karl Garside, 19. Will Carrick Smith, 20. Devante Onojaife, 21. Alex Day, 22. Oskar Hirskyj-Douglas, 23. Ed Coulson


15. Tim Bitrim, 14. Andrew Lawson, 13. Joe Carlisle, 12. Dan Lancaster, 11. Tom Varndell, 10. Joe Ford (cc), 9. James Elliot; 1. James Flynn, 2. Ben Sowery (cc), 3. Gareth Smith, 4. Jake Brady, 5. Alex Humfrey, 6. Thom Smith, 7. Henri Lavin, 8. Guy Graham


16. Louis Musseti, 17. Alex Reid, 18. Connor Davidson, 19. Trystan Lloyd, 20. James Seabrook, 21. Callum Bustin, 22. Elliot Turner, 23. Ryan Shaw.


Hamish Smales