Match Report v Newcastle Falcons
Posted: 9th November 2019
Despite putting in a Herculean effort, Bedford Blues were unable to overcome former Premiership side Newcastle Falcons in front of the Sky Sports cameras at Goldington Road on Saturday afternoon.
Will Hooley kicked two penalties for the Blues, but a John Hardie try and two Toby Flood penalties secured the win for the Falcons.
To say that the conditions were challenging would probably have been the understatement of the day as the rain poured down on Goldington Road from the opening whistle but both teams adapted their game well with plenty of possession for each in the opening exchanges.
An early Blues lineout saw Lewis Robling and Ed Coulson having the opportunity to attack while Jordan Onojaife, Dan Temm, Will Carrick Smith and Henry Paul were all keen to get in on the act as well.
Tom Arscott gave the Blues a scare early on as he chased a chip through and almost got to the ball but a penalty had already gone Bedford’s way - something that happened quite a lot in the first half.
The pace of Ryan Hutler, Ali Crossdale and Pat Tapley was certainly causing concern for the visitors with the latter almost latching on to an intelligent grubber from Grayson Hart.
Goldington Road thought that Joe Atkinson had opened the scoring but the ref correctly spotted some accidental crossing in the build up and Newcastle cleared.
Toby Flood was fortunate to stay on the pitch when the TMO spotted a neck tackle on Dan Temm at the ruck which resembled more of a wrestling DDT than anything on a rugby field.
The only points of the half followed soon after as Will Hooley converted from in front of the sticks in the 20th minute.
Bedford continued to press the Newcastle defence with the visitors rarely venturing out of their 22 and when they did a handling error or a penalty soon followed.
Newcastle were down to 14 when the referee’s patience finally broke in the 35th minute but Bedford were unable to capitalise as a grubber was defended well before a 22 dropout cleared things.
The half ended slightly controversially as Flood appeared to go in with a shoulder on Ed Coulson who had to go off for an HIA but the incident went unpunished and the half ended soon after.
The Falcons started the second half brightly and with the referee awarding a couple of penalties, the ball was sent to touch five metres out with the driving maul doing the job and Hardie coming up with the ball.
Bedford continued to push with Oli Curry, Sean McCarthy and Robbie Smith crashing forward on every opportunity but with the visitors winning more and more penalties it was no surprise to see Flood converting one in the 52nd minute to extend the visitors lead.
Back came Bedford with the replacements making an impact as Oskar Hirskyj-Douglas and Dean Adamson looking to find space as the Blues put phases together only to be pegged back by the Falcons defence.
Jacob Field, Joe Wrafter and Andrew Boye added plenty of grunt and muscle to a new front row while Josh Buggea and Huw Worthington tackled and crashed into anything that moved but a soft penalty in the 69th minute was easily dispatched by Flood.
Bedford attacked from the restart and Newcastle were penalised for holding onto the ball which Hooley then chipped over the uprights to reduce the deficit to just five points.
Aerial ping pong was the tactic as the game wore on, but Bedford looked for one final attack after they superbly overturned the ball at the ruck but as they looked to release the backs, a loose pass was knocked on and the visitors clung on for the victory.
15. Ali Crossdale, 14. Pat Tapley, 13. Ed Coulson, 12. Lewis Robling, 11. Ryan Hutler, 10. Will Hooley, 9. Grayson Hart; 1. Sean McCarthy (Capt), 2. Robbie Smith, 3. Henry Paul, 4. Jordan Onojaife, 5. Will Carrick Smith, 6. Oli Curry, 7. Joe Atkinson, 8. Dan Temm.
16. Jacob Fields, 17. Joe Wrafter, 18. Andrew Boye, 19. Huw Worthington, 20. Josh Buggea, 21. James Lennon, 22. Oskar Hirskyj-Douglas, 23. Dean Adamson
15. Tom Arscott, 14. Adam Radwan, 13. George Wacokecoke, 12. Dominic Waldouck, 11. Sinoti Sinoti, 10. Toby Flood, 9. Michael Young (co-capt); 1. Sam Lockwood, 2. George McGuigan (co-capt), 3. Rodney Ah You, 4. Darren Barry, 5. Sean Robinson, 6. Callum Chick, 7. John Hardie, 8. Nemani Nagusa.
16.Jamie Blamire, 17. Trevor Davison, 18. Mark Tampin, 19. Sebastian de Chaves, 20. Will Welch, 21. Sam Stuart, 22. Joel Hodgson, 23. Ben Stevenson