Archive 2012/13 Season

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Academy Fixtures – 2012/2013

Date   Opponent   KO Result Pts Pts
            For A
Saturday 11-Aug Trial Game (Bedford Swifts, Barker's Lane)   2.00 pm      
Saturday 18-Aug Gwent Dragons Academy A 2.30 pm W 17 8
Saturday 25-Aug North Wales Academy (Rygbi Gogledd Cymru 1404) H 3.00 pm W 39 17
Saturday 01-Sep Moseley U20s A 3.00 pm W 65 0
Saturday 08-Sep Cambridge Devel XV H 3.00 pm W 51 27
Saturday 15-Sep London Scottish U20s A 3.00 pm W 58 0
Saturday 22-Sep Nottingham A 2.30 pm W 12 5
Monday 24-Sep Moseley Development XV - Cancelled A 7.30 pm      
Saturday 29-Sep Cambridge Univ U21s H 2.15 pm W 105 10
Saturday 06-Oct Oxford Univ U21s A 2.00 pm W 36 10
Saturday 13-Oct            
Saturday 20-Oct Loughborough University A 2.00 pm W 10 5
Saturday 27-Oct Northampton Saints - Cancelled H 2.00 pm      
Wednesday  31-Oct Eastern Counties U20s (at Cambridge RFC) A 7.30 pm W 41 7
Saturday 03-Nov            
Saturday 10-Nov Leicester Tigers H 2.00 pm W 30 15
Saturday 17-Nov Cambridge Univ U21s A 2.15 pm W 32 23
Saturday 24-Nov Oxford Univ U21s H 2.30 pm W 20 0
Monday 26-Nov London Scottish Development XV - Cancelled A 7.30 pm      
Saturday 01-Dec Ealing Trailfinders U20s H 1.00 pm W 59 5
Saturday 08-Dec Saracens H 2.00 pm W 22 15
Saturday 15-Dec North Wales Academy (Rygbi Gogledd Cymru) -  Cancelled A 2.30 pm      
Saturday 22-Dec            
Saturday 05-Jan London Scottish U20s - cancelled H 2.00 pm      
Saturday 12-Jan            
Saturday 19-Jan            
Saturday 26-Jan Nottingham - cancelled H 2.30 pm      
Tuesday  29-Jan Nottingham - U21 XV H 7.45 pm L 21 31
Saturday 02-Feb            
Saturday 09-Feb            
Saturday 16-Feb Loughborough University H 1.00 pm W 64 19
Saturday 23-Feb            
Monday 25-Feb London Scottish Development XV - cancelled H 7.30 pm      
Tuesday  26-Feb Cambridge U21s H 7.30 pm W 24 10
Saturday 02-Mar            
Saturday 09-Mar Northampton Saints - cancelled H 2.00 pm      
Sunday  10-Mar England U18s A 1.00 pm W 20 3
Saturday 16-Mar            
Monday 18-Mar Moseley Development XV - cancelled H 7.30 pm      
Thursday  28-Mar Leicester Tigers A 7.30 pm L 0 45
Saturday 30-Mar            
Saturday 06-Apr Ealing Trailfinders Devel XV A 2.45 pm L 22 59
Saturday 13-Apr North Wales Academy (Rygbi Gogledd Cymru 1404) A 2.30 pm W 39
Saturday 20-Apr Moseley U20s - cancelled H 3.00 pm      

 

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Academy Players to train with Blues Senior Squad pre-season:

 

7 members of last season’s Academy squad have been invited to train with the Blues Senior Squad for Phase One of the Blues pre-season programme. They are;

In addition two of the Blues Academy players from the previous season, wing Dean Adamson and full back Elliott Clement-Hill, who have played for Ampthill last year, have also been invited to train with the Blues. The Blues Academy Director Denis Ormesher said …  “The players have worked hard all season and deserve this opportunity. I am confident that all of them will do well and that they will push some of the seniors in training.  They all have a chance to impress Mike Rayer over the summer.  Some of them may impress enough to feature in the Blues squad this season.  All of them will benefit from the experience.” 

“Dean and Elliott have done well at Ampthill over the last year, scoring over 400 points between them, helping Ampthill to win promotion to National Two.  Training with the Blues will allow us to monitor how well they have developed.”

 

“If a player is good enough, and works hard enough, they will get a chance at the Blues.”

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Academy Players Awards

Bedford Blues Academy enjoyed their annual awards evening. 

The winners are below - from left to right;

Alex Smit       - Most Improved Player

Aaron Morris  - Young Player of the Year

Shaq Meyers  - Player of the Year

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John Kearsley: Academy Team Manager

Bedford Blues have announced the appointment of John Kearsley as Team Manager for the Blues Academy.  John will take responsibility for the operational support that is needed to make the Academy function effectively, and will work closely with the Academy Director, Coaches, and Physio team.

John, an ex-PE teacher, is an RFU Level 2 coach.  He is currently Coaching Co-Ordinator at the Junior Blues; Team Manager and Coach of the Junior Blues U15 XV and backs coach of the Bedfordshire County U15s.  John has run the Bedford Blues Touch League for the last thirteen years.  He is involved in refereeing and coaching touch rugby, and is a part-time sports coach.  

John takes over from Gareth Davies, Team Manager for the last two seasons, who is stepping down due to his increasing commitments with the Welsh RU where he is Squad Manager for the Welsh Exiles programme. 

Blues Academy Director, Denis Ormesher said … “I would like to thank Gareth for his support over the last two seasons, and I am pleased that he will maintain his involvement with the Blues Academy, by helping with player recruitment.” 

“I am delighted that John is joining us.  He is well known in Bedford through his work with the Junior Blues, with Bedfordshire and with the Bedford Touch League.  John has great experience which he can bring to the Blues.  His support will allow me and the coaching team to focus even more on coaching and player development.”

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North Wales Regional Academy (RGC 1404) 7 pts:  Blues Academy U19s 39 pts:

Saturday April 13th 2013

 

The Blues Academy made the long trip to play the North Wales Regional Academy (Rygbi Gogledd Cymru 1404), at the WRU “state of the art” stadium in Eiras Park in Colwyn Bay.  RGC 1404, is one of the five Regional Academies funded by the Welsh RU, was set up in 2008 to help develop the game in North Wales.  The WRU invested £6.5m in the stadium at Eiras Park as the home of the Academy with an indoor training centre, gym, high performance sports analysis facilites and a 2,000 seater stand.  The Blues Academy were too strong for the younger RGC side and scored seven tries to defeat RGC by 39pts – 7.

 

The blustery conditions made it difficult for both sides but it was Bedford who coped better taking the lead after seven minutes.  Scrum half Alex Smit went blind from a Blues scrum and fed full back Chris Lord for a try.  Five minutes later, after a lineout of the right hand side, the Blues moved the ball wide to the left; two quick rucks were won and hooker Alex Bloisi was on hand to drive over from close range.  Centre Charlie Esam scored next after a good break from a scrum.  Bedford closed the half with a good counter attack from deep from Lord, centre Felix Streeton carried on the attack before Lord scored on the corner and the Blues led by 20pts – 0 at half time.

 

Bedford had a good start to the second half and, after a sweeping attack, winger Mike Stanway scored in the corner.  Another counter attack from deep from Lord led to Stanway’s second try, converted by Streeton.  RGC began to get more into the game, prompted by fly half Tom Williams who began to call the shots for RGC.  Hooker Dan Colclough scored under the posts from a quick penalty with Williams converting to narrow the score to 32pts – 7.  RGC began to put together some good counter attacks from deep with their young back line looking dangerous. The Blues defence was well organised and held.  Esam scored the Blues last try with an interception, converted by Streeton, and the Blues ended as 39pts – 7 winners.  

 

Blues’ Academy Director Denis Ormesher said ... “The younger RGC side played some good rugby in the second half but the Blues defence did well to hold them.  Although we played well to score some good tries the Blues never really broke into top gear, but after a long coach journey we were pleased with the result.”

  

Bedford: Louis Castiglione, Alex Bloisi, Matt Collins, Ben Latimer (capt), Alex Ruck, Seb Clark, Joe Bercis, Shaq Meyers; Alex Smit, Joe Tarrant; Mike Diponio, Nathan Donnachie, Felix Streeton, Mike Stanway; Chris Lord:  Subs: Jack Simpson, Josh Lemmon, Keiran Duffin, Charlie Esam, Julian Hensman:

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Academy U19s to play North Wales Region

Saturday April 13th 2013

 

The Blues Academy face a long trip for their penultimate game of the season, to play the WRU North Wales Regional Academy (Rygbi Gogledd Cymru 1404).  RGC 1404, which is one of the five Regional Academies funded by the Welsh RU, was set up in 2008 to help develop the game in North Wales.  The WRU invested £6.5m in a state of the art stadium in Eiras Park in Colwyn Bay, as the home of the Academy with an indoor training centre, gym, high performance sports analysis facilites and a 2,000 seater stand.  The game will be played at Eirias Park, Colwyn Bay, LL29 7SP, Tel: 01492 577900, KO 2.30 pm.

 

The Blues make five changes to their starting line-up from last week; hooker Alex Bloisi starts; Ben Latimer returns in the 2nd row to captain the side; Seb Clarke starts at flanker after a good performance last week; Joe Bercis returns at flanker from Ireland U19 duty, and Chris Lord comes in at full back to replace Aaron Morris who is playing for Saracens in the Melrose sevens.

 

 

Team

 

Substitutes

       

1

Louis Castiglione

   

2

Alex Bloisi

16

Jack Simpson

3

Matt Collins

   

4

Ben Latimer (capt)

   

5

Alex Ruck

   

6

Seb Clarke

17

Josh Lemmon

7

Joe Bercis

   

8

Shaq Meyers

   
       

9

Alex Smit

20

Kieran Duffin

10

Joe Tarrant

   
       

11

Mike Stanway

21

Julian Hensman

12

Nathan Donnachie

22

Charlie Esam

13

Felix Streeton

   

14

Mike Diponio

   
       

15

Chris Lord

   
       

  

Bedford’s Academy Director, Denis Ormesher, said … “We had a good game against North Wales at the beginning of the season and we are looking forward to playing at Eiras Park.”

 

“We have made some changes from last week, and we will be looking for the whole squad to put into practice the lessons from last week, with a step up in physical intensity and improved finishing and decision making this week.”

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Ealing Development XV 59 pts: Blues Academy U19s 22 pts:

Saturday April 6th 2013

 

With Ealing U20 XV short of players Ealing cancelled their 2nd XV game to make players available and, with the Blues agreement, fielded a number of players in their mid/late 20s, who have played for Ealing 1st XV, including ex-London Scottish fly half, Rory Damant, to face the Blues U19 team.  The physicality of the older Ealing players helped them win by 59pts – 22.   

 

Ealing started well and were 19pts – 0 ahead after 15 minutes.  Bedford fought back and narrowed the gap to 19pts – 12 by half time with tries from fly half Joe Tarrant and No. 8 Shaq Myers, and a conversion from Tarrant.

 

The second half saw the physicality of Ealing take its toll on the Blues defence.  Ealing scored six further tires, to one by Bedford full back Chris Lord, to make the final score 59pts – 22 to Ealing.

 

Blues’ Academy Director Denis Ormesher said ... “Although the age difference was too much for the Blues youngsters we learnt a lot from the game.  The gap from the Academy to the Championship level is wide and tough games like these help to prepare the Academy players for adult rugby.” 

 

Bedford: Louis Castiglione, Ben Brownlie, Matt Collins, Hadyn Edwins, Alex Ruck, Josh Lemmon, Louis Rawlings, Shaq Meyers; Alex Smit (capt), Joe Tarrant; Mike Diponio, Nathan Donnachie, Felix Streeton, Mike Stanway; Aarom Morris:  Subs: Alex Bloisi, Jack Simpson, Connor Adams, Seb Clarke, Lewis Jones, Charlie Esam, Julian Hensman, Nick Coward:

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Academy U19s to play Ealing Development XV

Saturday April 6th 2013

 

The Blues Academy face a tough game away from home on Saturday against an Ealing Development XV. The game is at the Ealing ground - Trailfinders Sports Club, Castle Bar, Vallis Way, West Ealing, London, W13 0DD, Tel: 020 8799 0404.  Kick off is at 2.45 pm.

 

Ealing 1st XV are riding high in the leagues and are currently top of the National One table.  If they win their game against Loughborough University on Saturday they will clinch promotion to the Championship for next season.  The Blues Academy were due to play the Ealing U20 XV but, because of a shortage of Ealing front row players, the Blues have agreed that Ealing can play a number of older players.  Ealing have cancelled their 2nd XV game to make players available and field a number of players in their mid-20s who have played for Ealing 1st XV, including ex-London Scottish fly half, Rory Damant.

 

The Blues make seven changes to the starting line-up that faced Leicester; hooker Ben Brownie, prop Louis Castiglione, locks Alex Ruck and Hadyn Edwins, flanker Louis Rawlings, winger Mike DiPonio and full back Aaron Morris all come in to the starting line-up.  England U18 centre Lewis Jones makes his debut as sub. 

 

The Blues are missing a number of players including winger Will Simonds who suffered a dislocation, and two breaks to his arm, in last week’s game against Tigers.  He had an operation on Wednesday - we wish him well for his recovery.

 

With four England U18 caps in the back line (fly half Joe Tarrant, winger Chris Lord, Aaron Morris and Lewis Jones) and with winger Mike Stanway selected this week for the England Counties U20 squad, the Blues field an exciting back line.  The Blues are captained by scrum half Alex Smit.

 

Team

Substitutes

1

Louis Castiglione

16

Jack Simpson

2

Ben Brownlie

17

Alex Bloisi

3

Matt Collins

18

Connor Adams

4

Hadyn Edwins

5

Alex Ruck

6

Josh Lemmon

   19

Seb Clarke

7

Louis Rawlings

8

Shaq Meyers

 

 

9

Alex Smit (capt)

 

10

Joe Tarrant

 

11

Mike Stanway

20

Nick Coward

12

Nathan Donnachie

21

Lewis Jones

13

Felix Streeton

22

Charlie Esam

14

Mike DiPonio

23

Julian Hensman

 

15

Aaron Morris

24

Chris Lord

 

 

Blues’ Academy Director Denis Ormesher said ... “Last week’s game against Tigers was tough and it will be a real test of character for our players to see how well they bounce back.  We are missing a number of players this week but it gives us a chance to test some of our squad.  With four Under 18s and the rest of the squad Under 19s, facing older players, some of whom have played Ealing 1st XV this season, will be a hard physical test ... tough but great development for them.“

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Academy players get International Call Up

Following Aaron Morris's appearance for England U18 Clubs & Schools XV last week, in their 30pts - 15 loss to Ireland Clubs U18 XV in Dublin, two further Academy players have International Call Ups this week.

Flanker Joe Bercis started at open side flanker in the Ireland U19 XV who played England U19s in Ireland on Wednesday April 3rd.  Ireland, who lost to England by 16pts - 15, travel to France to play France U19s at the weekend. 

Winger Mike Stanway, who played for London Division U20s in the Divisional Festival over Easter, has been selected for the England Counties U20 squad for their game against Georgia in May.

Blues’ Academy Director Denis Ormesher said ... “We are delighted for both Joe and Mike.  Both have worked hard this season and fully deserve their recognition."

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Leicester Tigers Academy 45 pts: Blues Academy 0 pts:

Thursday March 28th 2013

 

With Leicester Tigers having beaten Wales U18s this season, and the Blues having beaten England U18s, a game between Tigers Academy and Blues Academy under lights at Welford Road was always going to be a cracking game. Tigers showed why they are the top Premiership Academy and, in a fine display of direct running rugby, beat the Blues by 45pts – 0.

 

Bedford started well but were unable to cross the Tigers line.  Leicester in a breakaway move opened the scoring with a good try by hooker Harry Thacker. Leicester scored two further tries from full back Perry Humphries and flanker Oliver Povoas, with one converted by fly half Oliver Bryant, to give them a half time lead of 19pts – 0.

 

Bedford came out in the second half fired up and began to play some better rugby but the Tigers defence held them.  Humphries scored his second after 20 minutes, before Tigers added three more trues to end as winners by 45pts -0.

 

Blues’ Academy Director Denis Ormesher said ... “We beat the Tigers at home in November, which was our first win against them for a long time, and we expected a backlash from them on their home ground.  Tigers threw everything they had at us tonight and showed what a good side they can be.  They are well coached with some outstanding players, and gave a great example of how to play hard running direct rugby.”

 

“This was a great learning exercise for our squad.  They have had a great season so far, but the Tigers showed them the step up they need to make in physicality to compete at this level. “

  

Bedford: George Stuffins, Ben Brownlie, Matt Collins, Ben Patterson, Ben Latimer (capt), Josh Lemmon, , Shaq Meyers, Kennett O’Neil; Alex Smit, Joe Tarrant; Will Simmonds, Nathan Donnachie, Felix Streeton, Mike Stanway; Chris Lord:  Subs: Alex Bloisi, Louis Castiglione, Jack Simpson, Alex Ruck, George Elliott, Danny Hartwell, Kieran Duffin, Mike Diponio, Charlie Esam, Julian Hensman:

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Leicester Tigers Academy vs Bedford Blues Academy U19s:

Thursday March 28th 2013

The Leicester Tigers Academy vs Bedford Blues Academy game, postponed on Saturday due to snow, has been rearranged for Thursday March 28th, KO 7.30 pm under floodlights at Welford Road.

The Blues make two changes to the starting line-up;  2nd Row Ben Patterson (Oaklands College) makes his debut, and flanker Kennet O'Neill starts at No. 8 after a strong performance off the bench against England U18s.  Flanker George Elliott (Oaklands College), scrum half Kieran Duffin (Henley Colelge) and centre Charlie Esam (Bedford School) make their Blues debuts as subs.

The Blues are without flanker Joe Bercis (training with Ireland U19s) and Aaron Morris (playing for England U18s against Ireland).

 

Team

 

Substitutes

1

George Stuffins

16

Alex Bloisi

2

Ben Brownlie

17

Louis Castglione

3

Matt Collins

18

Jack Simpson

4

Ben Patterson

   

5

Ben Latimer (capt)

19

Alex Ruck

6

Josh Lemmon

   

7

Shaq Meyers

20

George Elliott

8

Kennet O'Neil

21 

Danny Hartwell

 

 

 

 

9

Alex Smit

22

Keiran Duffin

10

Joe Tarrant

 

 

 

 

 

 

11

Mike Stanway

 23

Mike DiPonio

12

Nathan Donnachie

   

13

Felix Streeton

    24

Charlie Esam

14

Will Simmonds

25

Julian Hensman

 

 

 

 

15

Chris Lord

   
       

Blues’ Academy Director Denis Ormesher said ... “With Leicester Tigers having beaten Wales U18s this season, and the Blues having beaten England U18s, a game between Tigers Academy and Blues Academy under lights at Welford Road is an exciting prospect.  We beat the Tigers at home in November.  This was our first win against them for a long time and we expect a backlash from them on their home ground."

"Leicester are a fine side, well coached with some outstanding players, and recognised consistenlty over the years as one of the best Academies in the country.  Our guys are looking forward to testing themsleves against the best.  It should be a cracking contest."

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England U18 XV 3 pts: Blues Academy U19s 20pts:

Sunday March 10th 2013

 

With first half tries from centre Felix Streeton and winger Will Simmonds, and a penalty from fly half Joe Tarrant, to give a half time lead of 13 pts - 3, and a second half try from centre Nathan Donnachie, converted by Tarrant, this was a convincing performance from the Blues to beat the England U18 XV by 20 pts -3.

 

The Blues had a strong start with a number of drives with backs and forwards combining, to put England under pressure.  Bedford opening their scoring when from a scum just outside their own 22, they attacked up the right wing; scrum half Alex Smit and full back Chris Lord put winger Mike Stanway free, he stepped inside the defence and was held on the England 22.  Flanker Josh Lemmon in support kept the momentum going, a quick ruck was won; the ball was moved quickly to the left for Streeton to score the Blues first try.  England narrowed the gap with a penalty shortly after to make the score 5pts – 3 to Bedford.  The Blues extended their lead with a try just before half time.  An England lineout was put under pressure to win a scrum for Bedford.  Streeton broke right, the ruck was won and the ball moved quickly to the left for Simmonds to score.  Bedford extended their lead further with a penalty by Tarrant to make the half time score 13pts -3 to Bedford.

England upped the intensity after half time and, with some powerful runs, put the Blues under pressure.  Bedford’s Aaron Morris, in the England XV, often made good ground, but was stopped by the Blues’ defence.  The Bedford defence was outstanding and their line held.  Bedford went further ahead when an England lineout was stolen, flanker Kennett O’Neil tidied up, and Tarrant fed Donnachie who took a direct line to cut through the England centre to score under the posts.  Tarrant converted and the Blues were 20pts – 3 ahead.    

Centre Felix Streeton beats the England defence ....

.... Ben Latimer steals an England lineout

 Photos c/o Andre Smit – Bedford Blues ©

Blues’ Academy Director Denis Ormesher said ... “With three of the Bedford squad having played for the England U18 XV last season, this was always going to be a competitive game.  The Blues squad rose to the occasion, and put in a really good performance.”

 

“This was England’s first weekend together and, although they had some outstanding players, the Blues organisation and physicality was too much for them.  England put us under a lot of pressure in the second half but our defence was strong and denied England a try.  In attack we looked strong and some of the rugby we played was very good.”

 

“It is hard to single out any individuals; this was a very good team performance and an indication of how far this squad has developed this season.”

 

Bedford: George Stuffins, Ben Brownlie, Matt Collins, Scott Arroyo-Hove, Ben Latimer (capt), Josh Lemmon, Joe Bercis, Shaq Meyers; Alex Smit, Joe Tarrant; Will Simmonds, Nathan Donnachie, Felix Streeton, Mike Stanway; Chris Lord:  Subs: Alex Bloisi, Louis Castiglione, Connor Adams, Alex Ruck, Kennett O’Neil, Danny Hartwell, Callum Gillie, Mike Diponio:

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Blues Academy to play England U18s

The Blues Academy U19s will play the England U18 Schools and Clubs XV on Sunday March 10th, at the Harlequins training ground, Surrey Sports Park, Egerton Rd, Guildford GU2 7XZ, KO 1.00 pm.

The Blues make 4 changes from their starting line up from last week.  Scott Arroyo-Hover starts at 2nd row, Josh Lemmon at 6 and Shaq Myers moves from centre to No.8, with Felix Streeton starting at centre.  On the bench prop Connor Adams (St, Joseph's School Ipswich), and flanker Kennnet O'Neil (Oaklands College) make their debuts and Mike DiPonio returns from injury.

 

Team

 

Substitutes

1

George Stuffins

16

Jack Simpson

2

Ben Brownlie

17

Alex Bloisi

3

Matt Collins

18

Ben Edwards

4

Scott Arroyo-Hover

   

5

Ben Latimer (capt)

19

Alex Ruck

6

Josh Lemmon

20

Kennet O'Neill

7

Joe Bercis

   

8

Shaq Meyers

21 

Danny Hartwell

 

 

 

 

9

Alex Smit

22

Callum Gillie

10

Joe Tarrant

 

 

 

 

 

 

11

Mike Stanway

 23

Mike DiPonio

12

Nathan Donnachie

   

13

Felix Streeton

   

14

Will Simmonds

   

 

 

 

 

15

Chris Lord

   
       

Blues’ Academy Director Denis Ormesher said ... “We are delighted to be invited to play England, as part of their preparations for their game against Ireland on Easter Saturday, particularly as two of our squad, Aaron Morris and Julian Hensman, will be in the England side. The invitation is a great accolade for Bedford, and recognition of the reputation held by the Blues Academy."

"Our squad have trained well this week and are looking forward to the challenge."

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Blues Academy players selected for England U18s

Congratulations to Blues Academy players full back Aaron Morris (Biddenham School) and winger Julian Hensman (Bedford Modern School) who have been selected for the England Under 18 Clubs and Schools XV to play Ireland on Easter Saturday.

Blues’ Academy Director Denis Ormesher said ... “We are delighted for both Aaron and Julian. Both have worked hard and fully deserve their recognition."

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Blues Academy U19s 24pts: Cambridge U21 XV 10 pts:

Tuesday February 26th 2013

 

The Blues Academy U19s had a tough win over an older Cambridge U21 XV by 24pts – 10.  The Blues, who made too many mistakes in the first half, were behind by 10pts – 7 at half time, before an improved performance in the second half saw them end as winners by 24pts – 10.  Cambridge featured 5 ex-Blues Academy players from the last few seasons; Ross Kevan, Elliot Bale, Harry Key all started and Curtis Weaver and Charlie Frankham were on the bench.

 

The Blues had a poor start to the game, too often showing poor decision making, especially in their own 22, when lateral running and overambitious, poorly executed passes put them under frequent pressure.  Cambridge capitalised on this with an early interception try, converted by ex-Blues Academy fly half Elliott Bale, followed with a penalty to put the Blues 10 pts down after 10 minutes.  The Blues continued to make poor decisions, worsened by their lack of discipline which led to a growing penalty count at the breakdown.  Bedford began to take hold of the game as the Blues pack began to gain the ascendancy against their older opponents.  Bedford got their first score just before half time when they disrupted a Cambridge scrum on the Cambridge 22.  The Blues went left, won the ruck and moved the ball back quickly to the right hand side, centre Nathan Donnachie broke through and offloaded to his centre partner Shaq Myers who scored under the posts.  Fly half Joe Tarrant converted and the Blues went into half time 10pts – 7 behind.

 

Bedford went ahead just after half time when a fine counter attack from their own 22 was rewarded with another try for Myers.  Bedford began to control the game more through some strong forward play, but the Cambridge defence was strong and held out.  Tarrant scored with 10 minutes to go, with a good dummy to score under the posts and convert to put the Blues 19pts – 10 ahead.  Bedford’s final try was scored by winger Mike Stanway; the result of a fine counter attack from within the Blues 22, which must have involved 8 - 10 players handling.

 

Blues’ Academy Director Denis Ormesher said ... “Our performance in the first 20 minutes was poor.  We made too many bad decisions, gave away too many penalties, and made too many mistakes.  We were pleased that we were able to pull the game around, and eventually take control, but our decision making must improve.”

 

“This was another good physical test, and we were pleased with the way our lads coped with the older opponents.”

 

Bedford: George Stuffins, Ben Brownlie, Matt Collins, Jack Warrior, Ben Latimer (capt), Seb Clarke, Joe Bercis,  Danny Hartwell; Alex Smit, Joe Tarrant; Will Simmonds, Nathan Donnachie, Shaq Meyers, Mike Stanway; Chris Lord:  Subs: Alex Bloisi, Jack Simpson, Ben Edwards, Scott Arroyo-Hover , Josh Lemmon, Tom Borrett, Stefan Noort, Brandon Lewsey, Felix Streeton.

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Blues Academy U19s vs Cambridge U21 XV

Tuesday February 26th 2013 - Kick Off 7.30 pm


The Blues Academy game against Cambridge U21 XV due to be played in Cambridge on Saturday March 2nd has been switched to Tuesday February 26th and will now be played in Bedford, at the Bedford Swifts' ground, at the Bedford International Athletics Stadium, Barker's Lane, MK41 9SB, Kick Off 7.30 pm.

Cambridge will play an U21 XV against the Blues U19 XV, and are likely to contain a number of ex-Blues Academy players including half backs Ross Kevan and Elliott Bale.

Bedford make a number of changes to their line-up that started against Loughborough University last week.   Ben Brownlie starts at hooker, with Alex Bloisi moving to the bench; Jack Warrior starts in the second row, with Danny Hartwell moving to No.8, and Seb Clarke starts at flanker, after a good performance off the bench last week.  The Blues back line is unchanged.

 

Team

 

Substitutes

1

George Stuffins

16

Jack Simpson

2

Ben Brownlie

17

Alex Bloisi

3

Matt Collins

18

Ben Edwards

4

Jack Warrior

19

Scott Arroyo-Hover

5

Ben Latimer (capt)

20

Alex Ruck

6

Seb Clarke

 

 

7

Joe Bercis

21

Josh Lemmon

8

Danny Hartwell

 

 

 

 

 

 

9

Alex Smit

22

Tom Borrett

10

Joe Tarrant

 

 

 

 

 

 

11

Mike Stanway

 23

Stefan Noort

12

Nathan Donnachie

24

Brandon Lewsey

13

Shaq Meyers

25 

Felix Streeton

14

Will Simmonds

   

 

 

 

 

15

Chris Lord

   
       

 

Blues’ Academy Director Denis Ormesher said ... “Cambridge could not play on Saturday 2nd and have some problems with their floodlights at the moment.  We are grateful to Bedford International Athletics Stadium, and Bedford Swifts, for their help in hosting, and allowing the game to go ahead."

“After our game against Nottingham two weeks ago this will represent another physical challenge for our U19 players.”

Admission for the game is free - all are welcome.

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Bedford Academy U19s 64 pts: Loughborough Univ 19 pts:

Saturday 16th February 2013


The Blues Academy had a convincing win over an understrength Loughborough University side by 64pts – 19.  Ahead by 38pts – 14 at half time the Blues played some entertaining rugby to score 10 tries to beat the students.

 

The Blues had a dream start when from a lineout on the left on halfway they won a centre field ruck; the ball was quickly recycled and quick hands from fly half Joe Tarrant, centre Shaq Myers and full back Chris Lord made ground up the right; Lord was tackled but his inside pass was taken by scrum half Alex Smit up in support for a great try in the corner; Tarrant converted.  The Blues scored their second try a few minutes later in the same spot.  A midfield scrum followed by a back row move made ground and winger Mike Stanway cut inside to score, Tarrant converted.  The students hit back with a converted try from a close range ruck.  Stanway then got his second try from a good counter attack started by winger Will Simmonds.  Again the students hit back and, with Blues 2nd row Danny Hartwell in the sin bin, scored a converted try under the posts.  Bedford Academy, by this time well on top up front, began to move the ball with real width, and killed off the game with three quick tries before half time; a lineout close to the L’boro line was won and after a series of forward drives hooker Alex Bloisi touched down for Tarrant to convert; a Blues scrum on the left was won and the ball moved across the field to the far wing, the ruck was won and the ball moved back across the field for No.8 Ben Brownlie to score; and just before half time a strong run by Stanway was rewarded with a try for Hartwell in support, Tarrant converted and the Blues went into half time 38pts – 14 ahead.

 

Bedford, playing down the slope, started the 2nd half well with a good attack from deep in their own half,  Stanway was fouled as he about to score and a penalty try was awarded; Tarrant converted.  The Blues then began to lose their shape and overcomplicate the game.  Three or four tries were lost because of some poor decision making and skill levels, before substitute Seb Clarke took hold of the game and scored two tries in quick succession, with Tarrant converting one of them.  The students got a further try from a good cross field kick, before Stanway finished the game with his third try.  Centre Brandon Lewsey converted to give the Blues a 64pts – 19 win.

 

Blues’ Academy Director Denis Ormesher said ... “We played some good rugby in the first half but lost our way in the second.    Some basic mistakes in the second half meant that we left three or four tries out there.”

 

“Loughborough were understrength with a lot of players missing, so we should not get too excited by the win.  Nevertheless some of the rugby we played showed how effective we can be when we stick to the basics and do them well.  The linking between the forwards and backs was excellent when we put width on the attack, and some of the tries we scored were very good.”

 

Bedford: George Stuffins, Alex Bloisi, Matt Collins,  Danny Hartwell, Ruck, Ben Latimer (capt), Louis Rawlings, Joe Bercis, Ben Brownlie; Alex Smit, Joe Tarrant; Will Simmonds, Nathan Donnachie, Shaq Meyers, Mike Stanway; Chris Lord:  Subs: Jack Simpson, Ben Edwards, Stefan Hughes-Brand, Seb Clarke, Tom Borrett, Brandon Lewsey, Stefan Noort:

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Blues Academy Graduates - 3 get International Call up in same week

 

Great news this week with three Blues Academy Graduates getting International call ups in the same week.

 

Duncan Taylor 2_3 (2)

Ali Price seen after being presented with the National Colts Knock Out Cup in 2012

George Messum being presented with the National Colts Knock Out Cup in 2011

               Duncan Taylor

 Photos c/o Nigel Rudgard – Photographer, Bedford Blues ©

Bedford’s Academy Director, Denis Ormesher, said … "We are delighted to see Ali, Duncan and George receive this recognition.  All three of them have worked very hard to achieve this.  They are a real credit to themselves, and to their families who have supported them so well, and a great example to younger players of what can be acheived by hard work.  They develolped well in the Academy and have taken their performance to new levels by their hard work."

   

Duncan Taylor will make his first appearance for Scotland A in their game against England Saxons, on Friday at Newcastle Falcons ground.  Duncan, who joined the Blues Academy from Olney, spent three years playing for the Blues Academy from 2006 to 2009.  He played in the Blues National Colts Cup winning squads in in 2007, and 2008 and in the Plate in 2009.   Duncan was nominated for the Academy Young Player of the Year for the 2006/07 season, and was named as Academy Player of the Year for the 2008/09 season. Duncan moved from the Academy to a 1st XV contract with the Blues in 2009 and is now dual registered with the Blues and Saracens.

George Messum appeared for England Students in their win over Portugal by 25pts - 20 in Lisbon last weekend.  George joined the Blues Academy, from Leighton Buzzard, in 2010 and captained the Blues to their National Colts Knock Out Cup win in 2011.  He was named the Academy Player of the Year for the 2010/11 season.  George trained with the Blues 1st XV in the summer of 2011 before moving to study at Loughborough University.  He has appeared for the Blues in a pre-season warm-up game against Saracens, in the Mobbs game against the Barbarians and in Cup games agaisnt Esher and London Welsh.

Ali Price will make his first appearance for Scotland U20s in their game against England U20s on Friday at Plymouth's ground.  Ali joined the Blues Academy in 2010 from Wisbech. He was named the Academy Young Player of the Year for the 2010/11 season, and Academy Player of the Year for the 2011/12 season.  Ali captained the Blues to their National Colts Knock Out Cup win in 2012.  Ali moved from the Academy to a 1st XV contract with the Blues in 2012.  He has appeared has come off the bench for the Blues three times in league matches and made eight British & Irish Cup appearances.  He appeared for Saracens in the Melrose sevens last season and in the LV Cup last week in their win over Cardiff Blues.

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Bedford Academy U20 XV 21 pts: Nottingham Devel XV 31 pts:

Tuesday 29th January 2013


The Blues Academy took on a Nottingham Development XV in difficult conditions, with a strong wind, at the Bedford Swifts’ ground at the Bedford International Athletics Stadium.  The Blues were drawing 21 pts all with 10 minutes to go, before losing by 31 pts – 21.  The regular Blues U19 squad were strengthened by three of last year’s squad; 2nd row Gareth Baxter (now at Cambridge), and centres Harry Key (Cambridge) and Alex Awenat (Old Albanians).  The Nottingham squad contained nine of the Nottingham 1st XV squad.

 

The Blues went behind after 25 minutes, when following strong pressure at a series of scrums in the Blues 22, Nottingham scored a converted try in the corner.  The Blues hit back on the half hour when the Blues back three combined well with full back Aaron Morris, and left winger Chris Lord, putting right winger Mike Stanway in for a try in the left hand corner,  fly half George Humphries converted. The Blues went further ahead when centre Harry Key offloaded to his centre partner Alex Awenat for a try under the posts, Humphries converted and the Blues were 14pts – 7 ahead.  The Blues extended their lead just before half time when from a midfield scrum Morris and Lord made ground up the left, before scrum half Alex Smit cut inside to score; Humphries converted and the Blues were 21pts - 7 up at half time.

 

Nottingham, playing with the strong wind in the second half, kicked well for territory and used their powerful forwards to drive at Bedford. They narrowed the gap to 21pts – 14 with a well worked try from their forwards.  Blues 2nd row Ben Latimer and the Nottingham hooker spent 10 minutes in the sin bin as a result of a disagreement at a ruck.  Nottingham threw everything at Bedford, but the Blues youngsters’ defence held out against the older bigger opponents for long periods.  Nottingham scored a converted try on the half hour with a close range try after a long period of forward pressure, to make the score 21pts all.  Five minutes later they kicked a penalty to go 24pts – 21 ahead.  Bedford fought back and worked their way into the Nottingham half but the away team’s defence denied them a further score.  Nottingham sealed the win with another close range try following a scrum to end as winners by 31pts – 21.

 

Blues’ Academy Director Denis Ormesher said ... “We were delighted with the performance of the squad.  We wanted to stretch them with a game against older and bigger opponents and Nottingham gave them a tough test.”

 

“Although this was a very physical game, against some players with Nottingham 1st XV experience, the Bedford players never took a step back.  Some of the defence, and the work in the contact zone, was outstanding.  Our forwards were under pressure all game, but they have probably learnt more in this game about tight forward play than they have all season.  This type of test is great development for them.”

 

Bedford: George Stuffins, Alex Bloisi, Matt Collins,  Alex Ruck, Ben Latimer (capt), Scott Arroyo-Hover, Joe Bercis, Shaq Meyers; Alex Smit, George Humphries; Chris Lord, Nathan Donnachie, Alex Awenat, Mike Stanway; Aaron Morris:  Subs: Jack Simpson, Ben Brownlie, Louis Castiglione, Jack Warrior, Gareth Baxter, Louis Rawlings, Callum Gillie, Harry Key, Mike DiPonio, Will Simmonds:

 

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Blues Academy U19s vs Nottingham U21 XV

Tuesday January 29th - Kick Off 7.45 pm


The Blues Academy U19s play a Nottingham U21 XV on Tuesday January 29th, at the Bedford Swift's ground, at the Bedford International Athletics Stadium, Barker's Lane, MK41 9SB, Kick Off 7.45. pm.

Nottingham will play an U21 XV, but have agreed with the Blues that they will include a number of older players who are 21 or 22 years old. 

The Blues, who will be predomninately 18 - 19 years old, will be strengthened by 3 of last year's Academy squad who will return for the game - centre Alec Awenat (now at Old Albanians) starts at 13, and 2nd Row Gareth Baxter, and centre Harry Key (both now at Cambridge) are on the bench.

 

Team

 

Substitutes

1

George Stuffins

16

Jack Simpson

2

Alex Bloisi

17

Ben Brownlie

3

Matt Collins

18

Louis Castiglione

4

Alex Ruck

19

Jack Warrior

5

Ben Latimer (capt)

20

Gareth Baxter

6

Scott Arroyo-Hover

 

 

7

Joe Bercis

21

Louis Rawlings

8

Shaq Meyers

 

 

 

 

 

 

9

Alex Smit

22

Callum Gillie

10

George Humphries

 

 

 

 

 

 

11

Mike Stanway

 

 

12

Nathan Donnachie

23

Harry Key

13

Alex Awenat

 

 

14

Chris Lord

24

Mike DiPonio

 

 

 

 

15

Aaron Morris

25

Will Simmonds

       

Bedford’s Academy Director, Denis Ormesher, said … "We have had a long lay off over December and January due to cancelled games and the recent bad weather, and everyone is looking forward to getting back into action.  We are delighted that the weather has allowed the game to go ahead, as the guys are desperate to play."  

"It will be good to see some of our squad from last year returning, and it gives us a good chance to see how they have developed this season.  Nottingham will be 2 - 3 years older than the Blues, and have a number of their players who have played Nottingham 1st XV, so the game will be a tough physical test for our guys."    

Admission for the game is free - all are welcome.

 

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Aaron Morris makes his Blues Senior Debut

Blues Academy back three player Aaron Morris is lined up to make his debut for the Blues on Saturday.  Morris has been selected on the bench for the Blues in their British & Irish Cup match against Neath, at Goldington Road on Saturday at 3pm.

Morris, at 17 years old, is thought to be the youngest player to be selected for the Blues Senior XV since the start of the professional era.  Morris who plays full back or wing, lives in Bedford and is studying for "A" levels in English Literature, Politics and History at Biddenham School.

Blues’ Academy Director Denis Ormesher said ... “Aaron deserves his chance. He has got real natural talent but more importantly he has worked hard to develop over the last 18 months."


"Aaron makes it six ex-Academy players in the squad for Saturday.  Chris Lock, Tom Armes, Darryl Veenendaal, Ali Price and Josh Bassett have all come through the Blues Academy.  This should be a real inspiration to other young players who aspire to play for the Blues. "

Morris scores in the cup last season ... ... and again last week against Saracens

Blues’ Director of Rugby, Mike Rayer said ... “If Aaron comes off the bench to play on Saturday it will be a fantastic achievement for him as a 17 year old, and is a reflection of the great work done by our Academy set up in developing players."

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Blues Academy U19s 22 pts: Saracens Academy U18s 15 pts:
Saturday December 8th 2012


The Blues Academy continued their fine run with a narrow victory over a strong Saracens Academy side.  Saracens, fielding five of the current England U18 squad, two who played for Saracens 1st XV against Leicester Tigers three weeks ago in the LV Cup game at Goldington Road (full back Nathan Earle and centre Nick Tompkins), had beaten Leicester Tigers Academy last month and are one of the toughest sides the Blues face.  After a first half in which Saracens, playing down the slope, had a slight edge, the Blues went into half time 15pts – 12 down, before taking control in the second half to end as winners by 22pts – 15.

 

The Blues scrum .... ....... No.8 Shaq Meyers breaks

The Blues had a dream start when they forced a lineout on the Saracens 22.  2nd row Ben Latimer won clean quick ball.  The ball was moved quickly across the back line for full back Chris Lord to make the break, and feed winger Aaron Morris for a try in the left corner.  Saracens hit back two minutes later.  A missed Blues’ touch kick allowed Saracens space to counter attack, for full back Nathan Earle to score in the left hand corner.  Bedford worked their way back into the Saracens’ half, but after a period of Blues’ pressure, some wild passing gave Saracens the chance to counter attack again.  Saracens forced a 5m lineout, Bedford defended well but from the resulting scrum were penalised, and fly half Josh Sharp kicked a penalty to put Saracens 8pts – 5 ahead.  Two minutes later Saracens struck again; a fine counter attack beat the Blues’ defence; Earle broke through and fed winger George Perkins to score in the left corner.  Sharp converted and Saracens, looking dangerous, went 15pts - 5 up.  Bedford fought back into the Saracens’ half and began to pressurise Saracens up front.  A lineout on the left was won, fly half George Humphries made a half break and offloaded to centre Jackson Hughes to score; Humphries converted and the Blues went into half time 15pts – 12 behind.

 

The second half saw the Blues, playing with a greater intensity, take more control.  Morris made a mark from a Saracens’ kick in his own 22 to launch a counter attack.  Flanker Josh Lemmon and No. 8 Shaq Meyers moved the ball to winger Mike Stanway who made ground into the Saracens’ half.  The ruck was won and great hands by centre Nathan Donnachie and Morris made space for Lord to score in the left corner;   Humphries converted from the touchline, and the Blues took a 19pts – 15 lead.  The game remained very tight with both sides playing some fine rugby.  The second half was interrupted by a neck injury to Saracens’ England U18 hooker Sam James.  After a lengthy break to treat him, and transfer him to hospital, the game restarted.  Bedford forced a penalty, which Humphries kicked, to make the final score 22pts – 15 to Bedford.

 

Ben Latimer takes a clean ball ...

....... centre Jackson Hughes scores

Blues’ Academy Director Denis Ormesher said ... “This was a great game to watch with two very good sides playing some good rugby.  Our defence found it tough to cope with the Saracens back line in the first half, but we were better organised in the 2nd half.  The intensity we showed in the 2nd half won the game.”

 

“We are very pleased with the progress the lads have made so far this season, and to beat two of the RFU funded Premiership Academies, Leicester and Saracens is a real bonus."

"The best news of the day was that the Saracens' hooker, Sam James, was discharged from hospital on Saturday night.  Thanks go the Saracens and Bedford physio teams who handled the incident so well."

 

Bedford: Louis Castiglione, Alex Bloisi, Matt Collins,  Alec Ruck, Ben Latimer (capt), Josh Lemon, Joe Bercis, Shaq Meyers; Alex Smit, George Humphries; Aaron Morris, Nathan Donnachie, Jackson Hughes, Mike Stanway; Chris Lord:  Subs: Mitch Akroyd, Sam Webb, Euan Walker, Scott Arroyo-Hover, Louis Rawlings, Callum Gillie, Felix Streeton, Mike DiPonio:

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Blues Academy U19s vs Saracens Academy U18s
Saturday December 8th 2012 - Kick Off 2.00 pm


The Blues Academy U19s play Saracens Academy U18s this week at Goldington Road, Kick Off 2.00 pm.


Bedford make six changes from last week's line up;  Matt Collins, who returned from injury last week on the bench, starts at prop with Louis Castiglione; Ireland U18 flanker Joe Bercis returns from illness at open side, with England U18 flanker Shaq Myers moving to No. 8,; Aaron Morris returns from injury on the wing, and Jackson Hughes starts in the centre. Bedford will be captained by 2nd row Ben Latimer.

 

Team

 

Substitutes

1

Louis Castiaglione

  16

Euan Walker

2

Alex Bloisi

  17

Sam Webb

3

Matt Collins

18

Mitch Akroyd

4

Alex Ruck

    

5

Ben Latimer (capt)

19

Scott Arroyo-Hover

6

Josh Lemmon

20

Louis Rawlings

7

Joe Bercis    

8

Shaq Meyers

   

 

 

 

 

9

Alex Smit

20

Callum Gillie

10

George Humphries

 

 

 

 

 

 

11

Aaron Morris

   21

Mike DiPonio

12

Nathan Donnachie

   

13

Jackson Hughes

   22 Felix Streeton

14

Mike Stanway

    

 

 

   

15

Chris Lord

   
       

Bedford’s Academy Director, Denis Ormesher, said … "We have had a successful run of games so far this season, but a game against Saracens Academy will require us to step up our performance level.  Saracens are one of the top Academies in the country, and have a great track record.  We had two tight gamnes against them last season, losing the 2nd game by a single point."   

With the Blues playing away on Saturday vs Neath, Blues supporters again have the chance to see the Academy at home this week.

Admission for the game is free - the bar is open - all are welcome.

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Blues Academy U19s 59 pts:  Ealing Academy U20 XV 5pts:
Saturday December 1st 2012


The Blues Academy welcomed Ealing Trailfinders U20 XV to Goldington Road, for the first game between the sides.  With the Ealing senior XV top of National League One, and pushing for promotion to the Championship next season, and their Academy U20 side having beaten the Army U20s earlier this month, the Blues faced an unknown challenge.  A hat-trick from winger Mike Stanway helped the Blues to a clinical victory by 59 pts - 5.

 

Winger Mike DiPonio started the scoring early in the first half after Bedford got in behind the Ealing defence from a centre field scrum.  The ball was moved quickly along the line finding DiPonio in space for an easy run in.  Stanway got the first of his three tries soon after from a neat kick ahead by full back Chris Lord.  The ball found its way back into Lord’s hands and he passed to Stanway who sprinted under the posts.  Fly half George Humphreys converted.  Flanker Shaq Meyers scored the next of the Bedford tries off a rolling maul from a lineout; Humphreys converted.  Meyers soon had his second try but Bedford were made to work for it.  A good build-up of phases, using the full width of the pitch, and a powerful run from hooker Alex Bloisi, saw the ball reach Meyers who showed strength to finish; Humphreys converted.  Scrumhalf Alex Smit was next on the score sheet with a fine individual try.  No 8. Danny Hartwell fed Smit off the base of the scrum, and he cut through the defence on the blind side to finish untouched after rounding the full back.  Humphreys converted for a half time Blues lead of 33 pts – 0.

 

The second half was a tighter affair and Ealing came out fighting.  Bedford had to be more clinical as they found themselves under more pressure in attack.  The forwards worked hard to provide the opportunity for the next try.  A number of quick pick and goes created space out wide for Lord who linked well with Stanway to score his second try.  Bedford continued to move the Ealing defenders around and created space on the inside for Stanway to fly through a gap and beat a number of chasing defenders for his well-deserved hat-trick.  Humphreys, who had showed control and composure all game, converted.  It was then the turn of Ealing to stretch the Bedford defence with some fine play.  Their forwards, who had always posed a threat in and around the breakdown, took the ball through a few phases and then fed the backs, who showed slick hands to score in the corner.  Bedford immediately put pressure back on the Ealing defence and soon answered back through a Callum Gillie dart from the base of a ruck; converted by Humphreys.  Stefan Noort finished the game with a score wide out after another fine counter attack from Lord, and a strong run from prop Louis Castiglione.  Humphreys finished in style by converting his most difficult kick of the afternoon, to give the Blues a 59 pts – 5 win.

 

Blues coach James Hinkins said ... “We were pleased with the precision shown today.  The boys have worked hard putting together a new structure that gives them more options and tests their decision making.  It was great to see this all come together today in a clinical team performance.”

 

Bedford: Joe Newton-Taylor, Alex Bloisi, Euan Walker, Alec Ruck, Ben Latimer (capt), Josh Lemon, Shaq Meyers, Danny Hartwell; Alex Smit, George Humphries; Mike DiPonio, Nathan Donnachie, Brandon Lewsey, Mike Stanway; Chris Lord:  Subs: Louis Castiglione, Sam Webb, Matt Collins, Luke Carter, Seb Clark, Callum Gillie, Stefan Noort,  Tom Borrett, Jackson Hughes.

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Blues Academy U19s vs Ealing Academy U20 XV
Saturday December 1st 2012 - Kick Off 1.00 pm


The Blues Academy U19s play Ealing Trailfinders U20 XV this week at Goldington Road, Kick Off 1.00 pm.

Ealing Trailfinders, are currently top of National League One, four points clear of Rosslyn Park, and are pushing for promotion to the Championship next season. Their Academy U20 side, who beat the Army U20s by 39pts - 0 earlier this month, will present a tough challenge to the Blues.

The Blues, whose preparation has been disrupted by representative calls for Midlands U18s, East Midlands U20s and Eastern Counties Under 20s, name a large squad.  Bedford makre three changes from last week's line up;  Joe Newton-Taylor and Euan Walker start at prop and Chris Lord at full back. Prop Matt Collins returns after injury, and centre Jackson Hughes makes his debut after captaining North Midlands U18s in the recent U18 County Championship.

Bedford will be captained by 2nd row Ben Latimer.


 

Team

 

Substitutes

1

Joe Newton-Taylor

  16

Louis Castiglione

2

Alex Bloisi

  17

Sam Webb

3

Euan Walker

18

Matt Collins

4

Alex Ruck

    

5

Ben Latimer (capt)

19

Luke Carter

6

Josh Lemmon

20

Seb Clark

7

Joe Bercis   21 Stefan Hughes-Brand

8

Shaq Meyers

22

Danny Hartwell

 

 

 

 

9

Alex Smit

23

Callum Gillie

10

George Humphries

   

 

 

 

 

11

Mike Stanway

   24

Tom Borrett

12

Nathan Donnachie

   

13

Brandon Lewsey

   25 Jackson Hughes

14

Mike DiPonio

   26 Stefan Noort

 

     

15

Chris Lord

   
       

With the Blues playing away on Sunday vs Leeds, Blues supporters again have the chance to see the Academy at home this week.

The England v New Zealand game kicks off at 2.30 pm and will be shown live in the Scrum Bar. Admission for the game is free - the bar is open - all are welcome.

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Blues Academy U19s 20 pts: Oxford University U21 XV 0 pts:

Saturday November 24th 2012

After an away win against the University in October, Bedford faced a better organised, students side at Goldington Road.  On a gloomy, wet autumnal afternoon, the floodlights helped improve the playing conditions, and the young Bedford team, giving nothing away at the breakdown, and recycling and defending well, took a 6 pts – 0 lead at half time, before going on to win by 20 pts – 0.   

    

Bedford played up the hill in the first half and took 10 minutes to settle after a few poor decisions in attack, conceding penalties for poor discipline at the breakdown.  The Blues forwards took the game to the students and produced a strong and well controlled driven line out, taking the team from the halfway line to just outside the visitor’s 22.  With the maul collapsed, fly half George Humphries licked a penalty to score the first points of the day.  Oxford built pressure through strong carrying around the breakdown, and effective off loads out of the tackle.  Bedford scrambled well in defence, and starved Oxford of quick ball at the ruck.  The Blues won good turnover ball which relieved the pressure and allowed them to regain territory in a tight first half.  Forwards and backs combined well to keep the momentum.  The increased intensity and pace proved challenging for the students to deal with and, following a breakdown infringement, Humphries kicked his second penalty to give the Blues a 6 pts – 0 lead at half time. 

The Blues raised the pace further after half time and with powerful rucking from the pack, and the backs hitting the line at speed, the Blues started to take control of possession and territory.  The Blues defence forced errors by Oxford, before centre Brandon Lewsey took full advantage of a spilled pass and burst through the defensive line but was held up over the line.  From the resulting 5 m scrum, the front 5 gave a strong platform for No 8. Shaq Meyers to power off the base of the scrum and score under the posts.  Humphries kicked the conversion.  With the Blues now dominating the set piece, and controlling the game well, they moved the ball well for fullback Chris Lord to execute a perfect cross field kick for winger Mike Stanway to collect, beat 3 players and score underneath the posts; Humphries converted.  Bedford closed out a powerful defensive game with some aggressive tackling which denied the University a score, and gave Bedford a 20 pts - 0 win. 

Blues coach, Richard Candlin said “...This was a game we should have won by more, but some poor execution under pressure, meant we missed some scores.  I thought our defence, and our ball retention, were excellent against the older students side.” 

“With tough games in the next two weeks against Ealing U20s, and Saracens Academy, we will be working hard in training on converting opportunities and pressure into points.

 

Bedford: Joe Foreman, Alex Bloisi, Jack Simpson, Alex Ruck, Ben Latimer (capt), Josh Lemmon,  Joe Bercis,  Shaq Meyers; Alex Smit, George Humphries; Mike DiPonio, Nathan Donnachie, Brandon Lewsey,  Mike Stanway; Aaron Morris:  Subs:  Joe Newton-Taylor, Sam Webb. Louis Castiglione, Jack Warrior, Louis Rawlings, Danny Hartwell, Tom Borrett, Chris Lord, Stefan Noort:

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Blues Academy U19s vs Oxford University U21 XV

Saturday November 24th 2012

The Blues Academy U19s play Oxford University Under 21 XV this week at Goldington Road, Kick Off 2.30 pm.

 

Bedford make eight changes to their starting line up after last week's win over Cambridge University U21 XV. 

In the pack Joe Foreman returns at prop, Ben Latimer at 2nd row, and Josh Lemmon and Joe Bercis on the flanks.  Shaq Meyers moves to No.8.  In the backline Mike DiPonio starts on the wing, Nathan Donnachie moves from full back to centre, and Aaron Morris returns at full back.  Props Louis Castiglione (Oaklands College) and Joe Newton-Taylor (Birmingham) make their Blues debuts.

The Blues are missing hooker Ben Brownlie (knee), fly half Joe Tarrant (broken thumb) - both who had operations last week and are progressing well; centre Felix Streeton (concussion), and props Matt Collins and George Stuffins, both recovering from injuries.  Bedford will be captained by 2nd row Ben Latimer.

Following last week's 2nd win over Cambridge University, and win over Oxford University in October, the Blues will be attempting to do "the double" over both Universities.

 

 

Team

 

Substitutes

1

Joe Foreman

  16

Louis Castiaglione

2

Alex Bloisi

  17

Sam Webb

3

Jack Simpson

18

Joe Newton-Taylor

4

Alex Ruck

    

5

Ben Latimer (capt)

19

Jack Warrior

6

Josh Lemmon

20

Louis Rawlings

7

Joe Bercis    

8

Shaq Meyers

21

Danny Hartwell

 

 

 

 

9

Alex Smit

22

Tom Borrett

10

George Humphries

   

 

 

 

 

11

Mike Stanway

   22

Chris Lord

12

Nathan Donnachie

23

Stefan Noort

13

Brandon Lewsey

   

14

Mike DiPonio

   

 

     

15

Aaron Morris

   
       

 

Bedford’s Academy Director, Denis Ormesher, said … " Although we beat Oxford earlier in the season, we expect a tough challenge this this week.   We played some good rugby in the first half last game, against an older physical University side, but we went to pieces in the second half.  Our defence, which was strong in the first half, was poor in the second, and we failed to control the game.” 

 

“ Oxford will be much better organised this time out and will be determined to get a win in their last game before the Varsity match in early December.  We expect another physical encounter from the older University side.”

"With the Blues playing on Friday night, Blues supporters have the chance to see the Academy at home this week.”

 
"Admission for the game is free - the bar is open - all are welcome."

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Cambridge University U21 XV 23 pts:  Blues Academy U19s 32 pts::

Saturday November 17th 2012

After a runaway win against the University in September, which was very early in the University’s season, Bedford faced a much changed, and better organised, University side at Grange Road.  After taking an 12pts – 11 lead at half time, Bedford raised their game in the second half and, playing a more physical game against the older and bigger University side, went on to win by 32pts – 23.

   

Bedford started the game with intensity, but few opportunities were created as both defences were eager to make an impression on their opposite numbers.  Cambridge showed early dominance in the scrum, and used this base to set up driving plays to get over the gain line, as Bedford failed to make effective first up tackles.  The first try of the game came through creative play from winger Mike Stanway, who beat a number of defenders and linked with his supporting players.  The ball was recycled quickly to create a try scoring opportunity for opposite wing Chris Lord, who finished well.  Fly half George Humphries converted.  From the restart Cambridge put together a series of plays, which led to an attacking scrum.  The hosts moved the ball wide and, despite several disruptive tackles around the fringes, Cambridge squeezed over the line.  The students gathered momentum, and controlling the game well pressurised the Bedford defence.  A penalty was conceded and the University took the lead for the first time in the game.  Bedford increased their intensity from the restart forcing the students to kick to touch.  The line out was won cleanly, the Blues drove the  maul and scrum half Alex Smit fed flanker Danny Hartwell who was driven over the line.  Bedford failed to control the restart and the resulting pressure from the hosts was too much, a penalty was conceded, and Bedford’s lead was narrowed to 12pts – 11 at half time. 

Bedford increased their physicality in the second half making an immediate impact.  Smit found a gap around the fringes to score in emphatic style, converted by Humphries.  With a new found intensity, Bedford battled for every ball and gained the upper hand in the scrum.  With the tight five taking control, Joe Bercis and Shaq Meyers were able to support out wide, piling on the pressure which resulted in a penalty from centre Brandon Lewsey.  The restart was dealt with well and a good break from Humphries and Smit led to Cambridge slowing down the ball, and Lewsey kicking his second penalty.  Bedford continued the pressure and after a series of tight drives the ball was moved quickly to Lewsey to score, and convert.  With 15 minutes left Cambridge increased their efforts to break down Bedford’s defence and following several phases Cambridge scored.  A late converted try from Cambridge ended the scoring.  Bedford showed improved maturity to close out the game, giving away very little in the closing stages, using forward runners and accurate kicking to push the students back. 

Blues coach Rich Candlin said ……. “We were pleased with the improved intensity and accuracy in the second half.  With a run of games coming up against tough opposition we will need to learn lessons from the visit to the University.”

 

Bedford: Euan Walker, Alex Bloisi, Jack Simpson, Alex Ruck, Jack Warrior, Louis Rawlings,  Shaq Meyers, Danny Hartwell; Alex Smit, George Humphries; Chris Lord,  Felix Streeton, Brandon Lewsey,  Mike Stanway; Nathan Donnachie:  Subs:  Liam Walsh, Ben Latimer, Luke Carter, Stefan Hughes-Brand, Joe Bercis, Tom Borrett, Mike DiPonio:

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Cambridge University U21 XV vs Blues Academy U19s

Saturday November 17th 2012

The Blues Academy U19s play Cambridge University Under 21 XV this week at Grange Road, Cambridge, Kick Off 2.15 pm.

 

Bedford make eight changes to their starting line up after last week's win over Leicester Tigers. 

 

In the pack Euan Walker, Moulton College, and Liam Walsh, Bedford Athletic, make their first appearances for the Blues at prop; Alex Ruck and Jack Warrior start in the second row; in the back row England U18 back row Shaq Meyers starts at open side with blind side flanker Louis Rawlings and No. 8 Danny Hartwell.  The Blues rotate their squad with last week’s starting second row of Ben Latimer and Luke Carter, and Ireland U18 flanker Joe Bercis, on the bench, and flankers Josh Lemmon and Scott Arroyo-Hover rested. The Blues front row problems continue with props Matt Collins, George Stuffins, Will Dyer and Ben Edwards injured and hooker Ben Brownlie has a knee op this week.  Prop Joe Foreman and hooker Sam Webb play for Leicestershire Under 18s.

 

In the back line George Humphries starts at fly half in place of Joe Tarrant who broke his thumb last week; Nathan Donnachie moves to full back (in place of Aaron Morris who plays for East Midlands Under 18s) with Brandon Lewsey taking his place in the centre.  England U18 winger Chris Lord starts with Mike DiPonio moving to the bench.

The Blues will be captained by centre Felix Streeton. 

 

 

Team

 

Substitutes

1

Euan Walker

   

2

Alex Bloisi

     

3

Jack Simpson

  16

Liam Walsh

4

Alex Ruck

  17

Ben Latimer

5

Jack Warrior

18

Luke Carter

6

Louis Rawlings

19

Stefan Hughes-Brand

7

Shaq Meyers   20

Joe Bercis

8

Danny Hartwell

   

 

 

 

 

9

Alex Smit

21

Tom Borrett

10

George Humphries

   

 

 

 

 

11

Mike Stanway

   22

Mike DiPonio

12

Felix Streeton (capt)

   

13

Brandon Lewsey

   

14

Chris Lord

   

 

     

15

Nathan Donnachie

   23 Alex Griffith
       

 

Bedford’s Academy Director, Denis Ormesher, said … “With four hard games coming up in the next four weeks we need to rotate our squad to keep everyone fresh.  We have taken the opportunity this week to make some changes.”

 

“Last week’s win against Leicester was excellent, but we will face a different challenge this week.  We beat Cambridge Univ early in the season when we caught them at the beginning of their season, when we had the advantage of having played a few games.  They will be much better organised this time out and will be determined to get a win in their last game before the Varsity match two weeks later.  We expect another physical encounter from the older University side.”

 

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Bedford Academy U19s 30 pts: Leicester Tigers Academy U19s 15 pts:

Saturday 10th November October 2012 

Bedford Blues Academy welcomed a strong Leicester Tigers Academy to Goldington Road. Leicester, one of the RFU Premiership funded Academies, came into the game as firm favourites.   Bedford, who have not lost this season, had an excellent first half to go ahead by 27 pts – 3 at half time, and went on to gain a good win by 30 pts – 15. 

From the first whistle, Bedford played with real desire and pushed Leicester deep into their half.  After four minutes of play a lineout 10m from Leicester’s line saw the forwards set up a driving maul through 2nd row Ben Latimer for prop Joe Foreman to score.  The Tigers came straight back into the game after Bedford lost possession from the restart and were caught offside giving Leicester a simple penalty.  It wasn’t long before the Blues regained control and fly half Joe Tarrant timed a pass perfectly to centre Nathan Donnachie to hit a hole in the Leicester defence at pace.  Donnachie linked with his centre partner Felix Streeton, who powered over the line to score under the posts; Tarrant converted.  Five minutes later Bedford pressure saw Tarrant kick a penalty, after Leicester offended at a ruck.  The next try also belonged to Bedford and was a carbon copy of the first with a well-executed catch and drive from the lineout scored by Foreman.  On the last play of the first half, Leicester failed to clear their line effectively, the ball found its way to winger Mike Stanway, who danced his way through a number of Leicester defenders to score under the posts.  The conversion by Tarrant took the score to 27pts – 3 at half time. 

Bedford came out in the second half and faced an improved and more clinical Leicester, who immediately applied pressure off the kick off with strong defence and ball carrying.  After two minutes of the second half they did what Bedford had done to them in the first and scored off a driving lineout, which was converted.  Bedford regrouped and applied pressure off the kick off, turning the ball over.  After a few phases of pressure, Leicester wandered offside and giving Bedford a penalty and Tarrant an easy three points.  Leicester started to play the rugby that fits their Premiership Academy billing and mounted a number of attacks playing much of the rest of the game in the Bedford half.  After sustained pressure Leicester finally scored from a driving maul on 30 minutes.  However, after a tremendous defensive display by Bedford, and a number of turnovers from the Bedford back row, that was to be the last score of the game.  Bedford were still looking to run the ball, looking dangerous at times, particularly off turnovers.  Tarrant, who controlled the game exceptionally well, and posed a constant threat to the opposition, aptly kicked the ball off to finish the game at 30pts - 15 to Bedford.

   

Blues coach James Hinkins said ……. “The most pleasing elements of today’s performance were the team unity and defensive efforts from every member of the squad.  The team has the confidence and ability to play what’s in front of them and play from anywhere in the field.  With a defensive display like that, any team will find it hard to turn them over.”

 

Bedford: Joe Foreman, Alex Bloisi, Jack Simpson, Ben Latimer, Luke Carter, Josh Lemon, Joe Bercis, Shaq Meyers; Alex Smit, Joe Tarrant; Mike DiPonio, Nathan Donnachie, Felix Streeton, Mike Stanway; Aaron Morris:  Subs: Ben Brownlie, Mitch Akroyd, Alex Ruck, Scott Arroyo-Hover, Danny Hartwell, George Humphries, Chris Lord, Brandon Lewsey.

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Blues Academy to face Tigers

Saturday November 10th 2012

The Blues Academy play Leicester Tigers Academy this week at Goldington Road, Kick Off 2.00 pm.

Bedford make 7 changes to their starting line up from last week's game against Eastern Counties U20s.  Joe Foreman and Jack Simpson return to the front row, Luke Carter is in the 2nd row, Shaq Meyers returns from injury at No.8 and Joe Bercis returns from the Ireland U19 training camp at open side.  In the back line Alex Smit returns at scrum half and Aaron Morris at full back.

The Blues will be captained by 2nd row Ben Latimer.

 

Team

 

Substitutes

1

Joe Foreman

     

2

Alex Bloisi

  16

Ben Brownlie

3

Jack Simpson

  17

Mitch Akroyd

4

Luke Carter

18

Alex Ruck

5

Ben Latimer  (capt)

   

6

Josh Lemmon

   19

Scott Arroyo-Hover

7

Joe Bercis

   

8

Shaq Meyers

20

Danny Hartwell

 

 

 

 

9

Alex Smit

21

George Humphries

10

Joe Tarrant

   

 

 

 

 

11

Mike Stanway

   22

Chris Lord

12

Nathan Donnachie

23

Brandon Lewsey

13

Felix Streeton

   

14

Mike DiPonio

   

 

     

15

Aaron Morris

   
       

 

Bedford’s Academy Director, Denis Ormesher, said … "Games against the Leicester Tigers’ Academy are the highlights of our season.  They have been consistently the best U19 Academy side in England over recent years, and they are the benchmark we judge ourselves against.”


“We have made a few changes to the team from last week.  The squad has trained well this week and are raring to go. Games against Leicester are usually very good games of rugby and the lads are all looking forward to it." 

"With the Blues away to Doncaster on Friday night, Blues supporters have the chance to see the Academy at home this week.”

 
"Admission for the game is free - the bar is open - all are welcome."

 

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Eastern Counties U20s 17 pts: Bedford Academy U19s 41 pts:

Wednesday 31st October 2012

 

Bedford Blues Academy produced a good second half performance against the elements, to beat Eastern Counties Under 20s by 41pts – 17, away at Cambridge. With a spate of front row injuries to cope with the Blues welcomed back props Josh Smith (now at Ampthill) and Will Allard (now at Bedford Athletic) from last year’s Academy squad.

 

Bedford played with the slope and wind in the first half but struggled to settle into the game and play their own game plan.  A 7th minute scrum on the Eastern Counties 5m line was pushed close to the line and centre Nathan Donnachie was given the ball on the blind side for an easy score.  Fly half Joe Tarrant added the conversion.  The game then became scrappy with both teams finding it hard to keep possession.  A turnover in the Counties half saw the ball sent wide to winger Mike Di Ponio after 16 minutes for the Blues’ second try.  The remainder of the half was frustrating for all as the game struggled to flow.  The Blues scrum continued to dominate, which restricted any Counties attacking options.  With the last play of the half full back Will Simmonds was found on the left wing and Tarrant added the extra points to put the Blues ahead by 19pts – 0 at half time.

 

The second half saw the Blues play some excellent attacking rugby into the strong wind.  Ball retention was improved and the forwards took control of the game.  After a number of drives Louis Rawlings was bundled over on 54 minutes.  Directly from the restart catch, the ball was moved wide to winger Mike Stanway who showed his pace to score in the left corner.  After 69 minutes Stanway finished his second try of the match after the forwards had made 30 metres from a catch and drive lineout on the opposite side of the pitch.  Eastern Counties at this point started to get rhythm into the game and due to poor concentration and discipline the Blues leaked two tries.  Bedford’s last points came from Donnachie, again in the left corner.  A break from prop Jack Simpson allowed the forwards to win quick ball and slick handling from the backs moved the ball wide.  Tarrant again added the conversion in tough kicking conditions.  With fatigue of playing up the slope and against the wind setting in, the Blues conceded a try with the last play of the game, to make the final score 41pts – 17 to the Blues. 

 

Blues coach Neil Harris said …..”We were pleased with the performance in the second half.  The scrummaging performance was dominant, whilst the backs were executing opportunities well.” 

 

Bedford: Josh Smith, Alex Bloisi, Will Allard, Alex Ruck, Ben Latimer, Josh Lemon, Louis Rawlings, Danny Hartwell; George Humphries, Joe Tarrant; Mike DiPonio, Nathan Donnachie, Felix Streeton (capt), Mike Stanway; Will Simmonds: Subs: Joe Foreman, Jack Simpson, Jack Warrior, Luke Carter, Scott Arroyo-Hover, Tom Borrett, Brandon Lewsey.

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Loughborough Univ U20 XV 5 pts: Bedford Academy U19s 10 pts:

Saturday 20th October 2012 

Bedford Blues Academy U19s won a tight game against Loughborugh University Under 20s by 10pts – 5.  In a tough physical game the Blues defence won the game.  Ahead by 7pts – 0 at half time their 2nd half defensive display held out the University, to give the Blues a 10pts – 5 win. 

Bedford took the lead after 20 minutes when a good lineout take by 2nd row Ben Latimer, was moved to the back line; centre Nathan Donnachie made a good break, which was supported by 2nd row Scott Arroyo-Hover who offloaded to No 8 Danny Hartwell to score under the posts.  Fly Half Joe Tarrant converted.  The University scored early in the 2nd half, before Tarrant hit again with a penalty to put the Blues 10pts - 5 ahead.  

Bedford’s Academy Director, Denis Ormesher, said … “Our defence won this game.  The improvement in our individual tackle technique, and defensive organisation, seen over the last few weeks is marked.  The guys have worked hard on defence, and they saw the benefits in this game.”

 

Bedford: Joe Foreman, Ben Brownlie, Jack Simpson, Scott Arroyo-Hover, Ben Latimer(capt), Josh Lemon, Joe Bercis, Danny Hartwell; George Humphries, Joe Tarrant; Mike DiPonio, Nathan Donnachie, Brandon Lewsey, Chris Lord; Aaron Morris: Subs: Jack Warrior, Luke Carter, Stefan Hughes-Brand, Louis Rawli.ngs, Tom Borrett, Will Simmonds, Mike Stanway, Alex Griffith.

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Oxford Univ U21 XV 10 pts: Bedford Academy U19s 36 pts:

Saturday 6th October 2012 

Bedford Blues Academy U19s put on a Jekyll and Hyde performance to beat Oxford University Under 21 XV by 36 pts – 10, at Iffley Road.   Playing some fine rugby in the first half, against a physical University side, they took a lead of 29pts – 0 at half time.  The second half was a different story, with Oxford raising their game, to win the second half by 10pts - 7, and the Blues losing all structure, but ending as 36pts – 10 winners. 

Bedford took an early lead when great defence pinned Oxford in their 22, a penalty was conceded, Bedford kicked to the corner, the lineout was won, and driven over, for a try from flanker Scott Arroyo-Hover.  The game was evenly balanced for the next 20 minutes, with both defences working well to deny any scores.  Bedford scored again when a good move saw centre Nathan Donnachie break clear and pass inside to winger Will Simmonds, who fed full back Aaron Morris for a try.  Bedford stretched further ahead they won a lineout on the right-hand 22, and the ball was moved well across the Blues back line for Simmonds to score in the left hand corner.  Bedford, by this time looking in control, scored two further tries just before half time;  good width in attack led to centre Felix Streeton scoring and fly half Joe Tarrant converting;  and a break from his own 22 saw Morris score his second try, converted by Tarrant, and Bedford were 29pts – 0 ahead at half time. 

The second half was a totally different game.  Oxford raised their game and Bedford lost all structure.  Oxford scored after 15 minutes to narrow the gap to 29pts – 5.  Bedford scored next with a try, which he converted, from Tarrant, before Oxford ended the game with a try to make the final score 36pts – 10.

Bedford’s Academy Director, Denis Ormesher, said … “This was a frustrating game.  We played some good rugby in the first half, against an older physical University side, but we went to pieces in the second half.  Our defence, which was strong in the first half, was poor in the second, and we failed to control the game.” 

“We picked up a number or injuries, which were worrying, and I think our physios will be busy this week.”

 

Bedford: Joe Foreman, Ben Brownlie (capt), Matt Collins, Alex Ruck, Ben Latimer, Scott Arroyo-Hover, Joe Bercis, Shaq Meyers; George Humphries, Joe Tarrant; Mike DiPonio, Nathan Donnachie, Felix Streeton, Will Simmonds; Aaron Morris: Subs: Jack Simpson, Jack Warrior, Seb Clark, Callum Gillie, Brandon Lewsey, Chris Lord, Stefan Noort.

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Academy to play Oxford University Under 21 XV

Saturday October 6th 2012  

After their win against the Cambridge University Under 21 XV last week, the Blues Academy U19s take on the Oxford University Under 21 XV this week, away at the University's Iffley Road ground, Kick Off 2.30pm. 

Bedford make 3 changes to their starting line up from last week's game; Scott Arroyo-Hover returns at blindside flanker, and George Humphries starts at scrum half.  Open side flanker Joe Bercis, who played for Ireland U18 in the Home Internationals last season, and who has been captaining Connaght U19s in the Irish Inter-Provincial Championship this season, makes his Blues debut.  Also making his debut is winger Chris Lord (ex-St Joes School Ipswich) who played for England U18 last season.  No 8 Danny Hartwell, who has been playing for Irish Exiles in the Irish Inter-Provincial Championship, returns to the squad.

Bedford are still without "regulars"; George Stuffins, Alex Bloisi, Luke Carter, Louis Rawlins and Alex Smit (all injured) and Josh Lemon (unavailable).  The Blues will be captained by hooker Ben Brownlie.

 

Team

 

Substitutes

 

 

 

 

1

Joe Foreman

  16

 Jack Simpson

2

Ben Brownlie (capt)

 

 

3

Matt Collins

 

 

4

Alex Ruck

17

Jack Warrior

5

Ben Latimer 

 

 

6

Scott Arroyo-Hover

 

 

7

Joe Bercis

18

Seb Clark

8

Shaq Meyers

19

Danny Hartwell

 

 

 

 

9

George Humphries

20

Callum Gillie

10

Joe Tarrant

 

 

 

 

 

 

11

Will Simmonds

    21

Chris Lord

12

Nathan Donnachie

22

Brandon Lewsey

13

Felix Streeton

 

 

14

Mike DiPonio

    23

Stefan Noort

 

 

 

 

15

Aaron Morris

   
       

Bedford’s Academy Director, Denis Ormesher, said …

"We did well last week against Cambridge University, however Cambridge had only just come together as a side, so we should not get too carried away with the result.”

"Iffley Road is a great ground to play at and Oxford University are always a tough physical test.  The challenge for our players will be to cope with the physical challenge of the older Oxford players, and still control the game to play the rugby we want to."

The game is at Oxford University's Iffley Road ground and kicks off at 2.30 pm.

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Bedford Blues Academy U19s 105 pts: Cambridge Univ U21 XV 10 pts:

Saturday 29th September 2012

 

Bedford Blues Academy U19s were too strong for Cambridge University Under 21 XV and, after taking a lead of 71pts – 3 at half time, ended at winners by 105pts – 10.

Bedford scored 17 tries through centre Felix Streeton (3), No 8 Shaq Meyers (2), winger Will Simmonds (2), centre Nathan Donnachie (2), full back Aaron Morris, winger Mike DiPonio, scrum half Callum Gillie, fly half Joe Tarrant, prop Jack Simpson, scrum half George Humphries and winger Stefan Nordt.  Tarrant kicked 10 conversions.  (Apologies to the try scorer missed).   

Bedford’s Academy Director, Denis Ormesher, said … We made 9 changes to their starting line up from last week's game against Nottingham, and we were delighted with the performance.” 

“It was obvious that Cambridge had only just come together as a side, and that we were much better organised, so we should not get too carried away with the result, however some of the rugby we played was excellent with good execution, and the squad putting into practice the areas we have been focussing on in training.”

 

Bedford: Joe Foreman, Ben Brownlie (capt), Matt Collins, Alex Ruck, Ben Latimer, Josh Lemon, Seb Clark, Shaq Meyers; Callum Gillie, Joe Tarrant; Mike DiPonio, Nathan Donnachie, Felix Streeton, Will Simmonds; Aaron Morris: Subs: Jack Simpson, Jack Warrior, Stefan Brand-Hughes, George Humphries, Brandon Lewsey, Nick Coward, Stefan Noort, Alex Griffith.

*******************************************************

Academy to play Cambridge University Under 21 XV

Saturday September 29th 2012  

The Blues Academy play Cambridge University Under 21 XV this week at Goldington Road, Kick Off 2.15pm. 

Bedford make 9 changes to their starting line up from last week's game against Nottingham. Matt Collins annd Ben Brownlie return to the front row, Ben Latimer to the 2nd row, and Shaq Meyers to the back row.  Joe Tarrant, Will Simmonds, Nathan Donnachie, Felix Streeton and Aaron Morris return the back line.

Bedford are without "regulars"; George Stuffins, Alex Bloisi, Luke Carter, Louis Rawlins and Alex Smit (all injured), Scott Arroyo (away) and Danny Hartwell (playing for Irish Exiles in the Irish Interprovincial Championships).

The Blues will be captained by hooker Ben Brownlie.

 

Team

 

Substitutes

 

 

 

 

1

Joe Foreman

 

 

2

Ben Brownlie (capt)

 

 

3

Matt Collins

 

 

4

Alex Ruck

16

Jack Warrior

5

Ben Latimer 

 

 

6

Josh Lemmon

 

 

7

Seb Clark

17

Stefan Hughes-Brand

8

Shaq Meyers

18

Jack Simpson

 

 

 

 

9

Callum Gillie

19

George Humphries

10

Joe Tarrant

 

 

 

 

 

 

11

Will Simmonds

    20

Nick Coward

12

Nathan Donnachie

21

Brandon Lewsey

13

Felix Streeton

 

 

14

Mike DiPonio

    22

Stefan Noort

 

 

 

 

15

Aaron Morris

23 

Alex Griffith

       

Bedford’s Academy Director, Denis Ormesher, said …

"We have made a few changes to the team from last week.  With the cancellation of the Moseley game on Monday the guys are raring to go.  Games against Cambridge University are usually good games of rugby and the lads are all looking forward to it."

"With the Blues away to Jersey, Blues supporters have the chance to see the Academy at home this week.  Cambridge are preparing for their Varsity game at Twickenham in December, and we play their Varsity opponents Oxford University U21 XV away from home next week."

"Admission for the Cambridge game is free - the bar is open - all are welcome."

 

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Nottingham U19s 5 pts: Bedford Blues Academy U19s 12 pts:

Saturday 22nd September 2012

  

With the Blues resting 11 of their squad in preparation for the Development XV game away on Monday night at Moseley, the Academy youngsters stepped up to the mark and ground out a 12pts -5 win away at Nottingham.  With the Blues beating Nottingham at Goldington Road this was the third double win in the Championship “double-headers” when Blues 1st XV and Academy play the same club home and away.

 

Bedford gave debuts to a number of new players with Joe Cave, Sam Webb and Joe Foreman making up a new-look front row, and centre Jackson Hughes making his debut.  Callum Gillie made his first start at scrum half.  Bedford were on top for the first half hour but a combination of poor finishing from the Blues, good breakaways from Nottingham and good defence from Bedford meant that there was no score for the first 25 minutes.  Bedford scored first when a quick tap penalty was taken by No. 8 Danny Hartwell, who offloaded to flanker Josh Lemon for the first score.  Fly half George Humphries converted to put Bedford ahead by 7 pts – 0.

 

Nottingham began to take more control in the second half.  The Nottingham pack were strong in the contact area, and their back line looked dangerous, but good defence from the Blues held them.  Nottingham narrowed the gap after 20 minutes to 7 pts – 5 when good support play and offloading was rewarded with a try.  Bedford regrouped and, growing in confidence, had the better of the last 15 minutes.  A pick up from a set scrum by No 8 Jack Simpson set up a ruck, the ball was won quickly and scrum half Tom Borrett darted over for a try to make the final score 12pts – 5 to the Blues.     

     

Bedford’s Academy Director, Denis Ormesher, said … “We made a lot of changes from last week to rest players ahead of Monday’s game, and to get an away win against Nottingham, one of our oldest rivals, is always satisfying.”

 

“In terms of player development, as a coaching team, we are delighted with the performance.  Whilst we did not have the structure to the game we are looking for, and at times some of our execution was not good enough, nevertheless the youngsters who came in stepped up to the mark.  They will learn a lot from the game, and the win was a real bonus.”

 

“Our next game is on Monday night, the Development XV fixture away to Moseley, KO 7.30 pm.  This is followed by a home fixture at Goldington Road next Saturday against Cambridge University U21s.”

  

Bedford: Joe Cave, Sam Webb, Joe Foreman, Alex Ruck, Jack Warrior, Josh Lemon, Louis Rawlins, Danny Hartwell; Callum Gillie, George Humphries; Mike DiPonio (capt), Brandon Lewsey, Jackson Hughes, Anthony Hensman; Alex Griffith: Subs: Mitch Akroyd, Will Dyer, Will Robson, Seb Clarke, Jack Simpson, Tom Borrett, Stefan Noort.

*******************************************************

Academy away to Nottingham

Saturday September 22nd 2012 

 

With the Blues Development XV away on Monday night at Moseley, the Academy rest 10 of their squad for the visit to Nottingham, in the third of our Championship “double-headers” this weekend.

Joe Cave, Sam Webb and Joe Foreman make up a new look front row, and centre Jackson Hughes makes his debut for the Blues.  Callum Gille makes his first start at scrum half, and partners George Humphries at half back.

 

Team

 

Substitutes

 

 

 

 

1

Joe Cave

16

Mitchell Akroyd

2

Sam Webb

   

3

Joe Foreman

    17

Will Dyer

4

Alex Ruck

   

5

Jack Warrior

18 

Will Robson

6

Josh Lemmon

   

7

Louis Rawlins

   19

Seb Clark

8

Danny Hartwell

20 

Jack Simpson

 

 

 

 

9

Callum Gillie

21

Tom Borrett

10

George Humphries

   

 

 

 

 

11

Mike DiPonio

   

12

Brandon Lewsey

21

Stefan Noort

13

Jackson Hughes

   

14

Anthony Hensman

    23

Nick Coward

 

     

15

Alex Griffith

 

 
       

Bedford’s Academy Director, Denis Ormesher, said …

"With the Blues Development XV away at Moseley on Monday night we are taking the chance to rest some players, and to have a look at soem of the younger guys.  They have performed well in training over refcent weeks and are raring to go. "

The game will be at Nottingham's ground at The Bay, kicks off at 2.30 pm.

Nottingham Rugby Club

The Bay

1 Holme Road

West Bridgford

Nottingham

NG2 5AA

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London Scottish U20s 0 pts: Bedford Blues Academy U19 58 pts:

Saturday 15th September 2012

The Blues Academy youngsters were too strong for London Scottish U20s on a scorching hot day at the Richmond Athletic ground.  With 19 year old Ali Price the oldest member of the squad (the rest of whom were 17 or 18), the Blues faced a London Scottish Under 20 side containing a number of "over-age" players.  Scottish fielded (with Bedford's agreement) a squad including three 22 year olds and a 24 year old prop.  Ahead by 34pts – 0 at half time, the Blues won by 58pts – 0.  Although the scoring was dominated by winger Will Simmonds, whose sharp finishing brought him 5 tries, the ability of the whole side to keep the ball alive was the key to the win. 

The Blues took an early lead when winger Nick Coward made a good break and interpassed with full back Aaron Morris to score in the corner, centre Felix Streeton converted and the Blues were ahead by 7pts – 0.  Further Bedford pressure led to a lineout 5m from the Scottish line, the Blues pack drove the lineout for flanker Shaq Myers to score.  Bedford, buoyed by the two early scores, began to play risky rugby trying to run the ball at every opportunity from their own 22 and, with Scottish looking the stronger side in the contact area, were lucky on a number of occasions not to concede  a score when Scottish turned them over.  Good defence from the Blues drove the Scottish back before Myers made a good break, Streeton supported and the ball was moved wide to Simmonds to score in the corner.  Bedford worked their way back to the Scottish 22.  With the Blues pack now getting the better of their older opponents, Bedford disrupted 4 consecutive Scottish scrums, and from a series of forward drives hooker Alex Bloisi went over for a try.  The Blues finished the half with a well worked try.  A lineout was won on the right hand touch line, the ball was moved to the left and after three phases the ball was moved quickly back to the right.  A good pass from fly half George Humphries made space for Simmonds to score his second try.  The final try of the half was again from a Blues lineout, with quick ball across the back line and Morris scoring in the corner.  Humphries converted to put Bedford up 34pts – 0 at half time. 

Bedford scored early in the second half when, after a good break from Myers, fly half Joe Tarrant beat the defence with a quick step to put Simmonds into space to score his third.  Bedford scored three further tries; a Scottish lineout was won by second row Jack Warrior, and Tarrant and Morris made space for Simmonds to score his fourth; Tarrant then made space for Simmonds to score his fifth, converted by centre Brandon Lewsey; and Myers finished the day with a step to beat the defence and a try under the posts converted by Lewsey.   

 

Bedford’s Academy Director, Denis Ormesher, said … “Whilst this was a good performance we should not get too carried away.  This was London Scottish’s first game together and we could, and should, have won by a bigger score.” 

“Nevertheless the rugby we played at times was excellent with some great finishing.  After trying to run everything from our own 22 in the middle of the first half we took control of the game and began to play with more structure.  It was a pity the game had to go to uncontested scrums, due to injuries in the Scottish front row, as we were beginning to get on top in the scrum.” 

“Scottish were an older physical side.  It was great to see our younger players coping so well with the physicality.  We were pleased with our defence, which led directly to two turnover balls which led to tries.”

 

“Next week we have the third of our Championship “double-headers”.  With the Blues 1st XV at home to Nottingham the Academy travel to play Nottingham Under 19s.”

  

Bedford: George Stuffins, Alex Bloisi, Matt Collins, Alex Ruck, Ben Latimer, Louis Rawlins, Shaq Myers, Scott Arroyo-Hover; Ali Price (capt), George Humphries; Nick Coward, Felix Streeton, Stefan Noort, Will Simmonds; Aaron Morris: Subs: Ben Brownlie, Joe Cave, Jack Warrior, Josh Lemon, Cameron Gillie, Joe Tarrant, Brandon Lewsey:

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Academy away to London Scottish

Saturday September 15th 2012  

The Blues Academy play the second of our Championship “double-headers” this weekend .  With the Blues 1st XV at home to London Scottish the Academy travel to play London Scottish Under 20s. 

With 19 year old Ali Price the oldest member of the squad, the Blues face a London Scottish Under 20 side containing a number of "over-age" players.  Scottish field (with Bedford's agreement) a squad including three 22 year olds and a 24 year old prop.

Flanker Shaq Meyers and fly half Joe Tarrant, both unavailable last week, return to the starting lineup.  Louis Rawlins starts at flanker after a promising debut last week, and Scott Arroyo makes his Blues debut at No.8 in a new look back row.  Dutch U18 international centre Stefan Noort makes his first start after a number of appearances off the bench.  The Blues will be captained by Ali Price.

 

Team

 

Substitutes

 

 

 

 

1

George Stuffins

16

Joe Cave

2

Alex Bloisi

17

Ben Brownlie

3

Matt Collins

   

4

Alex Ruck

18

Jack Warrior

5

Ben Latimer 

 

 

6

Louis Rawlins

19

Josh Lemmon

7

Shaq Meyers

   

8

Scott Arroyo

 

 

 

 

 

 

9

Ali Price (capt)

20

Callum Gillie

10

Joe Tarrant

21

George Humphries

 

 

 

 

11

Will Simmonds

   

12

Felix Streeton

22

Nathan Donnachie

13

Stefan Noort

23

Brandon Lewsey

14

Nick Coward

   

 

     

15

Aaron Morris

 

 
       

Bedford’s Academy Director, Denis Ormesher, said …

"We played some great rugby in the first half against Cambridge last week, but we lost our way badly in the second half.   We need to build on that first half performance, and work on keeping that focus and intensity for the whole game this week."

 

"Scottish will be a tough test.  We have agreed that they can play a number of older players and we will be up against an older physical side.  This type of physical test is exactly what our youngsters need."

The game will be at London Scottish's Athletic Ground and kicks off at 3.00 pm.

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Bedford Blues Academy Devel XV 51 pts: Cambridge 2nd XV 27 pts:

Saturday 8th September 2012

The Blues Development XV game beat Cambridge 2nd XV by 51pts – 27 on a scorching hot day at Goldington Road.  In a game of contrasting halves the Blues put together some excellent running rugby to take a 34pts – 10 lead at half time, before losing their shape in the 2nd half to end as winners by 51pts – 27. 

The game was originally scheduled to be between the Blues Academy U19s and Cambridge U21s but was changed to allow the Blues and Cambridge to play some of their 1st XV squads who needed game time.  Bedford brought in 1st XV players Darren Fearn at prop, Tom Armes at No 8, Joe Vandermolen at flanker, Ali Price at scrum half and Mark Kohler on the wing.  The game was given extra interest with the appearance of a number of Bedford Academy “old Boys”; 2nd row Gareth Baxter, flanker Bry White and centre Harry Keys (all who trained with the Blues 1st XV this summer), Matt Dunn, Jake McCloud, Ross Kevan and Alex Kelsall. 

Cambridge took an early lead with a penalty after 2 minutes.  The early exchanges were even before great defence from the Blues forced a turnover, the ball was moved quickly to the right and Kohler has the pace to beat the defence and score in the corner.  5 minutes later the Blues stretched their lead with the ball being moved wide from right to left, a quick ruck was won and the ball moved quickly back to the right.  Price made space to feed full back Aaron Morris to score; centre Felix Streeton converted and the Blues were 12pts – 3 ahead. Streeton added a penalty 5 minutes later. Bedford were beginning to find their rhythm and control the game.  A strong Blues scrum set up a pick up from No 8 and Armes had the pace to beat the defence for a try in the left hand corner, Streeton converted.  Cambridge hit back and a defensive error let them in for a converted try to narrow the gap to 22pts -10.  The Blues finished the half with two good tries; Price converted by Streeton and hooker Ben Brownlie, to make the score 34pts – 10 at half time.  

With the Blues playing down the slope in the 2nd half the crowd were expecting more running rugby from the Blues, however Cambridge had different plans, and a converted try after 10 minutes narrowed the gap to 34pts – 17.  Bedford fought back to win a scrappy lineout on the Cambridge line for flanker Louis Rawlins to touch down. Straight from the kick off the Blues hit back again with Price breaking to set up Kohler for his 2nd try.  Further pressure from the Blues led to a penalty try being awarded, Streeton converted and the Blues were 51pts – 17 ahead with 10 minutes to go.  The last 10 minutes were all Cambridge’s with two tries narrowing the gap to 51 pts – 27.   

 

Bedford’s Academy Director, Denis Ormesher, said … “The rugby we played in the first half was excellent with good control and some great interplay between forwards and backs.  We lost our way badly in the second half.  With a 34pts–10 lead at half time, and playing down the slope we should have killed Cambridge off in the 2nd half.  All credit to Cambridge they did not let us take control and the second half was drawn 17pts all.”  

“It was good to see so many of the Blues Academy “old boys” doing well for Cambridge, and our younger players will learn from the experience of playing with the Blues 1st XV players in the squad, and against older players.”

 

“Next week we have the second of our Championship “double-headers”.  With the Blues 1st XV at home to London Scottish the Academy travel to play London Scottish Under 20s.”

 

Bedford: Darren Fearn, Ben Brownlie, Matt Collins, Luke Carter, Alex Ruck, Ben Latimer, Joe Vandermolen, Tom Armes; Ali Price (capt), Nathan Donnachie; Mike DiPonio, Felix Streeton, Nick Coward, Mark Kohler; Aaron Morris:  Subs: Alex Bloisi, George Stuffins, Moses Osibanjo, Josh Lemon, Louis Rawlins, Alex Smit, Stefan Noort, Will Simmonds,:

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Development XV to play Cambridge

Saturday September 8th 2012  

The Blues Academy change focus this week with a Development XV game against Cambridge 2nd XV.  The game was originally scheduled to be between the Blues Academy U19s and Cambridge U21s but has been changed to allow the Blues and Cambridge to play some of their 1st XV squads who need game time. The game is at Goldington Road and kicks off at 3.00 pm.

Bedford bring in 1st XV players Darren Fearn at prop, Tom Armes at No 8, Joe Vandermolen at flanker, Ali Price at scrum half and Mark Kohler on the wing.  Ben Brownlie starts at hooker and Luke Carter returns from illness in the 2nd row. The Blues will be captained by Ali Price.  The game is given extra interest with the appearance of a number of Bedford Academy “old Boys”;  2nd row Gareth Baxter, flanker Bry White and centre Harry Keys (all who trained with the Blues 1st XV this summer), Matt Dunn, Jake McCloud, Ross Kevan and Alex Kelsall are all due to appear for Cambridge.

 

 

Team

 

Substitutes

 

 

 

 

1

Darren Fearn

16

Moses Osibanjo

2

Ben Brownlie

17

Alex Bloisi

3

Matt Collins

18

George Stuffins

4

Alex Ruck

 

 

5

Luke Carter

 

 

6

Ben Latimer 

19

Josh Lemmon

7

Joe Vandermolen

20

Louis Rawlins

8

Tom Armes

 

 

 

 

 

 

9

Ali Price (capt)

21

Alex Smit

10

Nathan Donnachie

 

 

 

 

 

 

11

Mike DiPonio

22

Will Simmonds

12

Felix Streeton

 

 

13

Nick Coward

23

Stefan Noort

14

Mark Kohler

   

 

 

 

 

15

Aaron Morris

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bedford’s Academy Director, Denis Ormesher, said …

“Last week’s game against Moseley was a good performance but this week will require a step up.  Cambridge have recruited well over the summer and they will give our youngsters a real test.”   

 “With so many ex-Blues Academy players playing for Cambridge, the game should have an added spark.  I know that they, and the Bedford boys will be looking forward to playing against each other.”

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Moseley U20s 0pts: Bedford Blues Academy U19s 65 pts:

Saturday 1st September 2012

  

With the Blues seniors beating Moseley by 50pts – 6 at Goldington Road in their opening game of the Championship, the Blues Academy completed the double by beating Moseley U20s away at Billesley Common by 65pts – 0, with the Blues scoring 11 unanswered tries.   

 

Bedford took the lead in the first minute when winger Will Simmonds counter attacked from his own 22 and fed the ball inside to centre Felix Streeton for the first try.  5 minutes later strong defence from the Blues forced an error from Moseley, Simmonds intercepted to run in from his own 22, Streeton converted.  The Simmonds/Streeton combination hit again a few minutes later; another counter attack from Simmonds, and an inside pass to Streeton. The Blues forwards began to take control of the game and demolished a Moseley scrum on the Blues 22 for full back Aaron Morris to break and score; 15 minutes gone and Bedford were 22pts – 0 ahead. The Blues next scored a very good team try.  A Moseley kick was taken by Simmonds on the left wing, deep in the Blues 22, the ball was moved wide to Morris and then to right winger Mike DiPonio, who made 40 meters up the right flank to be tackled in the Moseley 22.  Bedford won a quick ruck, flanker Shaq Meyers made the break in the centre and fed Simmonds who scored in the left hand corner.  Meyers completed the half when the Blues forwards drove the ball 50 meters up the middle and the ball was moved for Myers to score in the corner, and put the Blues 32pts – 0 ahead at half time. 

 

The second half continued in the same vein, with the Blues pack becoming increasingly dominant, and the Blues backs having too much pace for Moseley.  Hooker Ben Brownlie made a good break to feed prop George Stuffins who fed 2nd row Alex Ruck (what a great name for a 2nd row) to score under the posts; Streeton converted.  Scrum half Alex Smit was next on the score sheet taking a quick tap penalty to score under the posts; Streeton converted.  Strong defence from winger Nick Coward won a turn over ball, Brownlie made ground and fed Myers for a try.  Morris scored straight after, before scrum half Callum Gillie beat the Moseley defence for the final try; two conversions from centre Nathan Donnachie made the final score 65pts – 0 for the Blues.

    

Bedford’s Academy Director, Denis Ormesher, said … “It was good to see some of the things we have been working on in training over the last few weeks begin to work.  Our defence was strong and led to a number of turnovers.  Our forwards gave us a great platform to work from, and our back line had too much pace for Moseley.  It was good to see how the forwards and backs linked together well.  When we did the simple things, and executed them at pace, some of the handling was great to see.  We lost our shape a little in the 2nd half but that was understandable with such an open game.  Our two pre-season games against the Welsh Regional sides have been really valuable, and this gave us a edge over Moseley, who were playing their first game.”

 

“Next week we welcome Cambridge U21s to Goldington Road, and expect to face a number of our Academy “old boys” from the last two seasons, in what should be a tough test against an older side.”

 

Bedford: George Stuffins, Alex Bloisi, Matt Collins, Jack Warrior, Alex Ruck, Josh Lemon, Shaq Meyers,  Danny Hartwell; Alex Smit(capt), George Humphries; Will Simmonds, Nathan Donnachie, Felix Streeton, Mike DiPonio; Aaron Morris:  Subs: Ben Brownlie, Moses Osibanjo, Joe Cave, Ben Latimer, Jack Simpson, Callum Gillie, Alex Griffith, Stefan Noort, Nick Coward:

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Academy U19s to play Moseley U20s

Saturday September 1st 2012

 

After a good pre-season, which ended with games against two of the Welsh Regional Academies; a long away trip to the Welsh valleys and a win against Gwent Dragons (17pts – 8) was followed by a home win (39pts – 17 ) against the North Wales Regional Academy (Rygbi Gogledd Cymru 1404) last week; the Blues Academy U19s travel to play Moseley U20s on Saturday.

Bedford make 6 changes to the starting line up from last week.  Alex Bloisi starts at hooker, with last week’s captain Ben Brownlie on the bench; Alex Ruck starts in the 2nd row; Josh Lemon at blind side flanker, George Humphries at fly half, and Will Simmonds on the wing.  Prop Joe Cave (ex-Bedford School) makes his debut on the bench.

 

Team

 

Substitutes

 

 

 

 

1

George Stuffins

16

Moses Osibanjo

2

Alex Bloisi

17

Ben Brownlie

3

Matt Collins

18

Joe Cave

4

Alex Ruck

 

 

5

Luke Carter

19

Jack Warrior 

6

Josh Lemmon

20

Ben Latimer 

7

Shaq Meyers

 

 

8

Danny Hartwell

21 

Jack Simpson

 

 

 

 

9

Alex Smit (capt)

 22

Callum Gillie

10

George Humphries

 

 

 

 

 

 

11

Will Simmonds

23 

Alex Griffith

12

Nathan Donnachie

24

Stefan Noort

13

Felix Streeton

 

 

14

Mike DiPonio

25

Nick Coward

 

 

 

 

15

Aaron Morris

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

Bedford’s Academy Director, Denis Ormesher, said … “Our two pre-season games against the Welsh Regional Academies have been really valuable.”

 

 “We have made a few changes to the starting line up for this week.  The trip to Moseley, and the contest against older players, will be a different challenge.  We will need to adapt to the adult laws with a much bigger focus on the set scrum.”

 

“A double header, with the Blues 1st XV and Academy playing the same opposition, one at home and one away, on the same day, is a first for a long time.  We have scheduled this against a number of Championship sides this season.  Let’s hope that by Saturday night we will have a Blues double !”

 

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Bedford Blues Academy 39 pts: North Wales 17pts:

(Rygbi Gogledd Cymru 1404)

Saturday 25th August 2012

 

 

The Blues Academy continued their pre-season games with the second game against one of the Welsh RU funded Regional Academies.  A long away trip to the Welsh valleys and a win against Gwent Dragons (17pts – 8) last week was followed by a home win (39pts – 17) against the North Wales Regional Academy, Rygbi Gogledd Cymru 1404 (RGC) this week.

 

Bedford started the game looking as if they had just had a 5 hour coach journey, not the visitors, and with a succession of errors, poor decision making and lack of concentration “gifted” the visitors two tries in the first 10 minutes.  RGC kicked off, Bedford entered the ruck from the side, a penalty to RGC, a quick tap, missed tackles and RGC scored after 30 seconds.  Bedford levelled the scores two minutes later when good ball was won deep in the RGC 22; the ball was moved wide to the right for full back Aaron Morris to make ground, and slip the ball inside to scrum half Alex Smit to score.  10 minutes later the Blues gifted another try to RGC; a missed touch kick was returned with interest for a Blues lineout in the 22.  Bedford won a quick lineout, moved the ball to kick for touch, the kick was charged down and RGC scored under posts and converted to go 12pts – 5 ahead.  Bedford narrowed the gap when a RGC lineout was stolen, the ball was moved wide again and Morris scored.  Bedford began to settle and put together some effective play for three further tries: a lineout on the right was won for the back line to create space for centre Nathan Donnachee to score; a break from the blind side wing from Alex Griffith was carried on by prop Matt Collins who offloaded to Smit for his second try; and just before half time a good counter attack by Morris was taken on by flanker Shaq Meyers, Bedford won the ruck and flanker Danny Hartwell scored in the corner to put Bedford ahead by 25pts – 12 at half time.

 

Bedford played down the slope with the wind in the second half and extended their lead with a set move from a scrum with winger Mike DiPonio getting the touch down; centre Felix Streeton converted and the Blues were 32pts – 12 ahead.  The Blues discipline began to slip and a succession of penalties allowed RGC back into the game.  An RGC try made the score 32pts - 17, before Bedford scored again.  A great break was made by Smith who was tackled just short of the RGC line, but was able to offload to Streeton to score in the corner.  Streeton converted and the Blues won by 39pts – 12.

    

Bedford’s Academy Director, Denis Ormesher, said … 

 

“We made more mistakes in the first 15 minutes than you would want to see in a whole game.  It looked like we had just got off the coach, not North Wales.  Once we had got over that we put together some good phases of play and created some good opportunities, most of which we finished well.”

 

“Our two pre-season games against the Welsh Regional sides have been really valuable.  We have been able to see how our new players have fitted in and they have given us a clear idea of what we need to work on over the coming weeks.”

 

“There are lots of positives, and lots of areas we need to work on, but we are pleased with the progress the squad have made over the summer.”

 

“We have some tough fixtures coming up with six games in September, four of them against U20 or U21 sides, one a Development XV game, where we will mix the Academy guys with 1st XV players, and only one at U19.  Next week we travel away to play Moseley U20s.”

 

Bedford: George Stuffins, Ben Brownlie (capt), Matt Collins, Jack Warrior, Luke Carter, Danny Hartwell, Shaq Meyers, Jack Simpson; Alex Smit, Joe Tarrant; Mike DiPonio, Nathan Donnachie, Felix Streeton (capt), Alex Griffith; Aaron Morris:  Subs: Alex Bloisi, Moses Osibanjo, Joe Foreman, Alex Ruck, Josh Lemon, Stefan Hughes-Brand, Michael Phillips, Stefan Noort, Michael Palladino:

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Academy to play North Wales Regional Academy

Saturday August 25th

After their long away trip to the Welsh valleys last week the Blues Academy continue their pre-season preparation with the visit of the North Wales Regional Academy (Rygbi Gogledd Cymru 1404) to Goldington Road next Saturday. This is a new fixture for the Blues, and will be another valuable step in preparation for the season.

Bedford ring the changes and make 5 changes to the starting line up from last week, and have 5 players making their debut for the Blues.  Ben Brownlie comes in at hooker, Jack Warrior in the 2nd row, Jack Simpson at No 8, Alex Griffith (ex Somerset and Welsh Exiles) on the wing and Aaron Morris at full back.  Griffith makes his debut for the Blues along with props Moses Osibanjo (ex-Bedford School) and Joe Foreman (ex-Lutterworth), fly half Michael Phillips (Bedford Modern School) and Dutch U18 international centre Stefan Noort.

 

 

Team

 

Substitutes

 

 

 

 

1

George Stuffins

16

Moses Osibanjo

2

Ben Brownlie (capt)

17

Alex Bloisi  

3

Matt Collins

18

Joe Foreman

4

Jack Warrior

 

 

5

Luke Carter

19

Alex Ruck

6

Danny Hartwell

20

Josh Lemmon

7

Shaq Meyers

21

Stefan Hughes-B

8

Jack Simpson

 

 

 

 

 

 

9

Alex Smit (v.capt)

 

 

10

Joe Tarrant

22

Michael Philips

 

 

 

 

11

Alex Griffith

 

 

12

Nathan Donnachie

23

Stefan Noort

13

Felix Streeton

 

 

14

Mike DiPonio

24

Michael Palladino

 

 

 

 

15

Aaron Morris

 

 

 

 

 

 

RGC 1404, which is one of the five Regional Academies funded by the Welsh RU, was set up in 2008 to help develop the game in North Wales. The Welsh RU invested £6.5m in a state of the art stadium in Eiras Park in Colwyn Bay, which was opened last November as the home of the Academy with an indoor training centre, gym, high performance sports analysis facilites and a 2,000 seater stand.

The Blues will play RGC 1404 in Colwyn Bay in December, however this Saturday RGC 1404 visit Goldington Road for the first fixture between the sides.

Bedford’s Academy Director, Denis Ormesher, said … “We are looking forward to welcoming North Wales to Goldington Road. This is a new fixture for the Blues, and will be another valuable step in our preparation for the season.  To play two of the Welsh regions on consecutive Saturdays is a real honour and a tough test.”

“We have made some changes from last week as we look at new players and different combiunations.  We performed well last week but we are looking for a step up in physical intensity and improved finishing and decision making this week.”

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Gwent Dragons Academy 8 pts:  Bedford Blues Academy 17 pts:

Saturday 18th August 2012

The Blues Academy opened their pre-season games with the first game against two of the Welsh RU funded Regional Academies. The North Wales Regional Academy visit Bedford next week, but this week the Blues made the long trip to the Welsh valleys to face the Gwent Dragons Regional Academy. The Blues had 9 players making their debut. England U18 players flanker Shaq Meyers and fly half Joe Tarrant (who joined the Blues last year) were joined by a new 2nd row pairing of Luke Carter (ex-Bedford School) and Alex Ruck (ex-Llandovery College), and winger Mike DiPonio (ex-St Joseph's School Ipswich) in the starting line up with flanker Stefan Hughes-Brand (Hitchin), scrum half Callum Gillie (Buckingham) and ex- Bedford School players No 8 Jack Simpson and wingers Mike Palladino and Toby Lynes on the bench. After losing in the final play of the corresponding game last season the Blues expected a tough game from the Dragons.  Bedford put together an encouraging early season performance to beat the Dragons by 17pts – 8.

The Blues took the lead after 10 minutes when, from a turnover ball just outside the Bedford 22, a counter attack involving 5 or 6 players put winger Mike DiPonio away to score in the right hand corner.  The Dragons hit back after 10 minutes when the Blues conceded a scrum penalty and the Dragons full back hit a penalty from just inside the Blues half to narrow the gap to 5pts – 3. The Blues extended the lead when DiPonio was held up over the line – from the 5m scrum the Blues moved the ball for centre Felix Streeton to cut back inside to score.  Streeton converted and the Blues led by 12pts – 3 at half time. 

The second half saw Bedford pressurise the Dragons frequently but too often the final pass was spilled, or an over-enthusiastic offload failed.  Dragons narrowed the gap when a well worked move was finished in the corner with a try, to put the Dragons within a score of the Blues, 12pts - 8 behind.  Bedford sealed the game when, from a turnover ball deep in their own half, scrum half Callum Gillie broke blind and had the pace to score in the corner to give Bedford the win by 17pts – 8.

Bedford’s Academy Director, Denis Ormesher, said …   

“With a long day, a very early start, and a group of players coming together of the first time, this was an encouraging performance, against one the top Welsh Regions.” 

“The games had lots of positives, and also helped us to identify lots of areas we need to work on.  Our finishing was not good enough.  We gave too much ball away from some basic mistakes and poor finishing.  However this is still very early in our preparations and, although the Dragons had a number of their top players away on tour with Wales U18s in South Africa, and we had an age advantage, it was still good to see how the new squad have started to come together so early in the season.”  

“We are looking forward to the visit of the North Wales Regional Academy (Rygbi Gogledd Cymru 1404) to Goldington Road next Saturday. This is a new fixture for the Blues, and will be another valuable step in our preparation for the season.”

 

Bedford: George Stuffins, Alex Bloisi, Matt Collins, Alex Ruck, Luke Carter, Ben Latimer (v.capt), Shaq Meyers, Danny Hartwell; Alex Smit, Joe Tarrant; Nick Coward, Nathan Donnachie, Felix Streeton (capt), Mike DiPonio; Will Simmonds:  Subs: Connor Adams, Ben Brownlie, Mitch Akroyd, Jack Warrior, Stefan Hughes-Brand, Jack Simpson, Callum Gillie, Brandon Lewsey, Michael Palladino, Toby Lynes:

 

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Academy squad vs Gwent Dragons:

The Blues Academy open their pre-season preparation with games in the next two weeks against two of the Welsh Regional Academies.  Before the visit of the North Wales Regional Academy next week, the Blues make the long trip to face the Gwent Dragons Regional Academy this Saturday.

The Blues have 9 players making their debut for the Academy.  England U18 players flanker Shaq Meyers and fly half Joe Tarrant are joined by a new 2nd row pairing of Luke Carter (ex-Bedford School) and Alex Ruck (ex-Welsh Exiles), and winger Mike DiPonio (ex-St Joseph's School Ipswich) in the starting line up.  Flanker Stefan Hughes-Brand (Hithcin), scrum half Callum Gillie (ex-Buckingham) and ex- Bedford School players No 8 Jack Simspon and wingers Mike Palladino and Toby Lynes will make their debut off the bench.

 

Team

 

Substitutes

 

1

George Stuffins

17

Mitchell Akroyd

2

Alex Bloisi

16

Ben Brownlie

3

Matt Collins

18

Connor Adams

   4

Alex Ruck

5

Luke Carter

19

Jack Warrior

6

Ben Latimer (v.capt)  

20

Stefan Hughes-Brand

7

Shaq Meyers

8

Danny Hartwell

21

Jack Simpson

 

9

Alex Smit

22

Callum Gillie

10

Joe Tarrant

 

11

Nick Coward

23

Toby Lynes

12

Nathan Donnachie

13

Felix Streeton (capt)

24

Brandon Lewsey

14

Mike DiPonio

25

Michael Palladino

 

15

Will Simmonds

 

Bedford Blues Academy Director, Denis Ormesher said ......"The lads have trained hard over the summer, and we had a good trial game last weekend, however there is no substitute for a tough competitive game to assess were we are."

"We had a good game against Gwent Dragons last season, losing to a score in the final play of the game by 22pts – 20. The Dragons were a fine side who beat Llanelli Scarlets, Cardiff Blues and North Wales last season.  Although this is early in the season, we expect them to be a strong test again."

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Academy Players to train with Blues Senior Squad pre-season:

15 members of last season’s Academy squad have been invited to train with the Blues Senior Squad for Phase One of the Blues pre-season programme.  They are;

The Blues Academy Director Denis Ormesher said …  “The players have worked hard all season and deserve this opportunity. I am confident that all of them will do well and that they will push some of the seniors in training.”  

“Half of them will still be Academy age this season and the experience of training with the 1st XV this summer will help them understand the standard they need to achieve if they want to play Championship rugby. They all have a chance to impress Mike Rayer over the summer.  Some of them may impress enough to feature in the Blues squad this season.  All of them will benefit from the experience.”


“Scrum half Ali Price has already signed a contract with the Blues for next season and follows in the footsteps of Josh Bassett the year before.  Another ex-Blues Academy player Tom Armes joins the Blues 1st XV squad this season.” 

“If a player is good enough, and works hard enough, they will get a chance at the Blues.”

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Blues Academy step down from National Colts Cup:

Bedford Blues Academy, who won the National Colts Cup in May for the fifth time in the last six years, will not defend the trophy this season.  The competition is moving to become an Under 18 competition which does not fit with the Blues Academy player development needs.

Blues Academy Director of Rugby Denis Ormesher said …

“We have decided that we will not enter the competition this year.  The move to an Under 18 competition does not fit with our player development needs.  The gap between Under 18 rugby and adult rugby at Championship level is too big.”

“The East Midlands have done a great job with the competition, which has helped to develop our players in a competitive environment in recent seasons.  However as the game changes we need to change and adapt what we do to improve.”

“We will be concentrating on playing games at Under 19 level, and above, to help prepare players for the Blues 1st XV.”

 

 

 

Ali Price with the cup

 Photo c/o Nigel Rudgard – Photographer, Bedford Blues ©

 

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