Match Report v Doncaster Knights
Posted: 29th February 2020
Bedford Blues produced their most complete performance of the season to secure a commanding bonus point victory over Doncaster Knights in a 29-5 success.
A near perfect offensive performance was matched by heroism in defence as Blues continued their 2020 resurgence by securing a fourth successive home victory this year.
Tries from Joe Atkinson, Robbie Smith, Ryan Hutler and Grayson Hart gave Blues all five points; and with it, they leapfrogged the visiting Knights into eighth in the Championship table.
Blues Head Coach Alex Rae said: “Defensively, we were absolutely magnificent. The will to defend and get the ball back, especially against the wind in the first half, was a really pleasing factor.
“If we’re being picky, we would have liked a few more tries because we felt there was more out there. On the whole, the effort was magnificent and if we defend like that, we’ll win more games than we lose.
“The boys are the ones who put the hard work in and long may it continue. We’ve got some tough games coming up, Newcastle away next, but there’s no reason we can’t go there and give that game a good go.”
Blues led from the moment Sam Leeming slotted the first points of the afternoon after nine minutes with a penalty.
The first try came three minutes later when Oskar Hirskyj-Douglas made a 40m burst before having the presence of mind to offload at the right time for Joe Aktinson to dot down. Leeming's conversion made it 10-0.
Blues took a 17-point lead into half time thanks to a classic Goldington Road try from Robbie Smith on 25 minutes. Dan Temm safely took a lineout and set up the driving maul, it felt like every Bedford player got involved to drive Smith over from 20m.
Despite the scoreline, Doncaster did have their moments and breaks through the middle but the defensive performance from Blues was immense to keep them to nil at the interval.
Blues were fastest out of the traps in the second half as well and scored another classic Bedford try on 43 minutes when demonstrating their fluidity with ball in hand to send Hutler over for his 10th of the season.
Hirskyj-Douglas again set up the move with a quick burst, Alafoti Fa’osiliva and Alex Penny then took it on and brushed off the Knights defence like they weren’t there before releasing the right winger. 22-0.
It wasn’t long before the bonus point was brought up as Hart crossed the whitewash. The scrum half used his astuteness to take a quick tap from a scrum penalty and the Knights defence couldn’t stop him barrelling over.
Such was the defensive genius from the whole Blues 23 man squad that it felt harsh on them to be breached; but credit where it’s due, Knights scored a very well worked try to reduce the deficit just before the hour through centre Charlie Foley.
The visitors never gave up and late on had a couple more entries into the Blues 22 but again they found the brick wall in their way leaving Bedford to see out the victory.
Composed. Confident. Character. Four from four at Goldington Road in 2020.
15. Rich Lane, 14. Ryan Hutler (67'), 13. Oskar Hirskyj-Douglas, 12. Lewis Robling (57'), 11. Matt Worley, 10. Sam Leeming, 9. Grayson Hart; 1. Sean McCarthy (C)(48'), 2. Robbie Smith (61'), 3. Alex Penny (48'), 4. Jordan Onojaife, 5. Oli Curry (52'), 6. Dan Temm, 7. Joe Atkinson (61'), 8. Alafoti Fa'osiliva (57')
16. Jacob Fields (61'), 17. Joe Wrafter (48'), 18. Henry Paul (48'), 19. Will Carrick Smith (52'), 20. Devante Onojaife (61'), 21. Huw Worthington (57'), 22. Fraser Strachan (57'), 23. Ed Coulson (67')
15. Cameron Cowell (63'), 14. Kyle Evans, 13. Charlie Foley, 12. Penikolo Latu, 11. Tyson Lewis, 10. Sam Olver (63'), 9. Tom James (71'); 1. Marc Thomas (70'), 2. Ben Hunter (C) (61'), 3. Colin Quigley (47'), 4. Cian Romaine, 5. Morgan Eames, 6. Fotu Lokotui (58'), 7. Wian Conradie (71'), 8. Guido Volpi
16. Will Holling (61'), 17. Andy Foster (47'), 18. Dan Suter (70'), 19. Tom Calladine (71'), 20. Michael Hills (58'), 21. Sam Pocklington (71'), 22. Lloyd Hayes (63'), 23. Jack Roberts (63')