Academy Colts Player of the Year Awards:
The Blues Academy Colts awarded their Annual Player of the Year Awards this weekend. The awards were presented by Blues President, Gareth Davies, at a dinner for the Colts at Goldington Road.
Player of the Year:
The Player of the Year Award was won by Will Chudley. Chudley, a scrum half from Kettering, improved as the season progressed and has put in some outstanding performances, the highlight of which was his performance away against Bath Academy. Chudley is one of a number of Colts players who will train with the Senior XV this summer. As Chudley was away on holiday, the award was accepted by Colts captain and prop Tom Williams, and centre Jamie Russell - both have played with Will since mini-rugby at Kettering. Also nominated this year were back row forwards Greg Mathers and Adam Self.
Will Chudley at scrum half for the Blues in the Colts Cup Final against Redruth
Young Player of the Year:
The Young Player of the Year Award was won by James Wright. Wright, a prop from Ampthill, who played against the Blues for both the East Miidlands and the Midlands Division, showed great promise in the front row. Also nominated this year were centre Duncan Taylor, fly half Luke Radley and back row Joe Callaghan-Adnams.
James Wright receives the Young Player of the Year Award from Gareth Davies
To see more Photos of the dinner click here...
Colts Win Knock Out Cup:
Bedford Colts ended the season with their best performance of the season - a convincing win over Redruth, by five tries to one, to win the National Colts Knock Out Cup. Redruth contributed to a very good game of rugby enjoyed by the crowd of around 1,000 at Franklin's Gardens, and put Bedford under pressure on a number of occasions, but the Blues’ ability to defend their line, and to create and take their chances, won the game for them.
For Match Report
see here .....
beat Nottingham in "warm up" for Cup Final:
Academy Player on England Duty:
Bedford Academy hooker Chris Locke is part of the England U18 squad in France this week attempting to win the AER European Championships for a third consecutive season.
been made top seeds for the eight-team tournament having successfully
retained the title last year. They begin their hat-trick bid with a
game against eighth seeds Portugal at Bayonne’s ground on Sunday
April 1. If England beat Portugal they will play either Georgia or Ireland
in their second AER game in Biarritz on April 4. Their final game will
be April 7 against opponents yet to be determined.
put Academy players through their paces:
Blues lose away
“New Look” Blues Colts too strong for Rosslyn Park:
Bedford Colts, with 8 players making their debut, were too strong for Rosslyn Park. Bedford scored 4 cracking tries in the first half to lead by 26pts – 0. Complacency from the Blues allowed Park to get back into the game in the second half before Bedford finished the game with two more good tries.
With a number of the “Senior Colts” being rested following the cup tie against Worcester last week, and with a tough away game at Bath next week, Bedford took the opportunity to look at a number of youngsters who are potential Academy Colts for next season. There were 5 new players in the back line; Under 18 Winger Tom Marfleet, who has just returned from 3 years in school in Australia where he played for New South Wales and trained with the Waratahs Academy; U18 centre James Knight (6’3” and 16 stone), ex-Leicester Academy, who has played for London and SE U18s this season and has been playing senior rugby for North Walsham; U17 fly half/centre Duncan Taylor, who has been playing senior rugby for Olney; U17 fly half/full back Andrew John from Old Albanians; and the youngest of them all U16 ex-Leicester Academy winger Gareth Clarke. Three players made their debut in the pack, U17 hooker George Warner from Ampthill and Northampton Saints; and U18s No.8 Joe Burton, Bedford Modern School and Ampthill, and flanker Sean Hughes from Saracens.
Bedford tries came from Gareth Clarke (2), James Knight (2), Luke Radley and Tom Williams with Knight getting 5 conversions.
Blues Academy Manager Denis Ormesher said “The 8 youngsters, who made their debuts, have been training with us over the last month and we took the opportunity to look at them in a game situation. All of them did well, and the side came together really effectively in the first half. The youngsters showed how to play simple rugby at pace, and look as if they could be real assets next season. Some of their performances today give us a real selection dilemma – a great position to be in.”
For Match Report see here
Academy second row in England U18s Six Nations squad:
Blues Academy second row, Courtney Lawes, has been named in the 26 strong England U18 squad who will take on France on Saturday March 24th and then compete in the Under 18s Six Nations Festival in Glasgow next month. England U18s are the reigning Home Unions champions, having won the title for the first time outright last year with a 21-15 victory against Wales in the final.
Congratulations to ex-Bedford Academy Colt Andrew Savage who made his first start for Nottingham in their game against Bedford yesterday, Bedford winning by 14pts - 10pts.
Savage, ex-Sandy Upper School, who played most of his junior rugby for Biggleswade, played for Bedford Colts before he went to University in Nottingham. Savage made his last appearance for Bedford Colts in the North of England 10-a-side tournament two years ago where Bedford, having beaten Sale Sharks in the semi, lost in the final to Leeds Tykes.
Savage, is one of a number of ex-Bedford Academy Colts who are now away at University and playing National One League for other clubs. In the same squad two years ago were Liam O’Neill (currently playing at Otley), James Ormesher (Waterloo), Geoff Griffiths (Rotherham) and Jonnie Larby (Rotherham). Also in the squad for the North of England 10s were Simon Elphick (Bedford Athletic) and Peter Vickers (Wellingborough) who appeared for East Midlands in their victory against the Barbarians this week.
Bedford: North of England 10s, 30th April 2005:
Rear Row L-R: Stuart Low (coach) Jaco van Zyl, Mair Evans (physio), Paul Redford, Simon Elphick, Ben Timpson, Liam O’Neill, Ben Lawrence, Tom Andrews, Steve Guest (coach), James O’Sullivan,
Front Row L-R; Chris Warner, Nick Verdino, Andrew Lake, Peter Vickers, James Ormesher, JJ Raven, Andrew Savage, Duncan Low:
Locke, in England Squad to face Italy:
Colts through to Semi-Final:
This was a strong performance from Bedford in the contact area, reflecting the hard work put into contact training over the last few weeks, but the Blues attack needs to find more creativity. Bedford dominated possession and territory and should have won by a much greater margin. Bedford will find out their Semi-Final opponents when the draw is made on Monday March 12th. Match Report
Colts to train with England Womens' Squad:
The Blues Academy Colts will have a combined training session with the England Womens' Squad this Saturday, March 3rd. This will be the 2nd time the Academy have trained with the England Womens' Squad. The 1st session took place this summer at Loughborough University as part of England's preparation for the World Cup. England went on to have a very successful tournament losing in the final to New Zealand. The session was so successful that England have asked for a repeat as part of their preparations for the Six Nations Championship.
England have won all three of their games in the Six Nations to date, beating Scotland (60pts - 0), Italy (23pts - 0) and Ireland last Saturday by 32pts - 0. Their remaining games in the Championship are against France on March 11th and Wales on March 17th.
Copies of the Colts Squad Photo can be ordered from the Blues Photographer, Nigel Rudgard.
Bedford Colts 30 pts: Redruth 5 pts:
Colts Cup Final. Monday May 7 th 2007 :
Blues Coaching team celebrate.
Bedford put Redruth under early pressure from the kick off when they kicked deep and forced a lineout on the Redruth 22. The first score came to the Blues with a drop goal from centre Grant Pointer after 10 minutes. Bedford extended their lead with a try from second row Courtney Lawes following a break by No. 8 Greg Mathers, supported by full back Peter Clarke. Redruth fought back and put Bedford under pressure but the Bedford defence was outstanding and held Redruth at bay. Bedford went further ahead after half an hour when following a lineout peel from second row Tom Coxall, and a break from defence by Clarke, Pointer scored. This was followed 5 minutes later with a fine individual try from scrum half Will Chudley to put Bedford 18pts - 0 ahead at half time.
The second half started with the Redruth pack throwing everything they had at Bedford . Redruth drove the ball close with their pack, forcing Bedford to defend for long periods. Second row Josh Morgan scored for Redruth after 10 minutes. Bedford weathered the storm and began to open the game up. Winger Duncan Taylor scored a good try and replacement wing Martin Watkins scored with his first touch of the ball, converted by Pointer. By this time Bedford were enjoying themselves and running everything. Watkins, and Will Sanson were denied further tries by putting a foot in touch. Bedford showed the progress they have made over the season, with their defence, their decision making, and their finishing all being top class.
Thanks must go to a long list of people who helped to make a successful season, end with a trophy; Alan Brown and Steve Guest for their support in coaching; Martin Elliott and Terry Dancer for their organization behind the scenes; Mike Rayer and Ali Hepher for their coaching sessions; the physio team of Colin, Ben and Vicky for keeping the squad fit and repairing injuries when they were not; the Blues Followers who came to Franklins' Gardens to support the boys; Geoff Irvine and Gareth Davies for their encouragement and support over the season; the players' parents who have been a really supportive group over the whole season; and most of all the players themselves who have offered the coaching team a whole host of challenges, and egos, to deal with but who have all individually improved as players and collectively "gelled" as a squad over the season.
Bedford: Tom Williams (capt), Chris Locke, Adam Ferrier Tom Coxall, Courtney Lawes, Shane Allen, Adam Self, Greg Mathers; Will Chudley, Luke Radley; Duncan Taylor, Grant Pointer, Jamie Burroughs, Will Sanson; Peter Clarke: Subs: James Wright, George Gaywood, Geoff Lewin, Joe Callaghan-Adnams, Martin Watkins, Ben Ventham, Tom Meller :
Colts 53 pts: Nottingham Colts 0 pts:
Bedford made a number of early mistakes, but after 17 mins, centre Jamie Russell, in sparkling form, crossed for the first try, which he then converted. Bedford continued to press and Luke Radley scored out wide, a try created by Russell. In the run-up to the try Russell was injured and took no further part in the game. A catch and drive led to Shane Allen scoring. A brace of tries followed from scrum-half Will Chudley, the first from a quick tap penalty close to the line, the second after a long range break from 2nd row Matt Mills, who had a fine game. Andrew Johns converted the 2nd to leave the half time score Bedford 29pts - Nottingham 0.
Nine changes at half time did not upset Bedford’s flow and soon after the K.O. Andrew Johns scored looping round down the right wing, and after the forwards had set up good field positions, Peter Clarke followed by Duncan Taylor joined the try scorers, both converted by Martin Watkins. Ben Stanley, playing his final game for Bedford Colts rounded off an enjoyable afternoon to score the final try. Nottingham maintained their shape in defence but on a hot afternoon Bedford were able to exploit the holes left as they tired.
The Blues were without a number of their squad, recovering from injury. In their last game prior to the National Colts Cup Final Bedford took the opportunity to involve as many of their squad as possible, and to test a number of their Cup Final options. A number of the squad put in outstanding performances that will mean some tough decisions in the selection of the squad of 22 for the final at Franklin’s Gardens, on Bank Holiday Monday, May 7th.
Colts 8 pts: Bedford Colts 21 pts:
Hertford started well and after a defensive mix up out wide by Bedford, Hertford forced their way over from a ruck for a try. Bedford fought back into the Hertford half and from an opposition lineout won the ball and swung it wide to the left. Winger Matt Kay made good ground, the ball was taken on by the forwards, the ruck won and the ball moved back to the right were second row Tom Coxall and centre Jamie Russell combined to put winger Peter Clarke in the corner for Bedford’s first try. Hertford came back at Bedford and were given a string of kickable penalties in the middle of the half, all of which they failed to convert into points. Bedford went further ahead when flanker Adam Self scored from a lineout drive, to make the half time score 10pts – 5pts to Bedford.
Bedford started the second half well, raised the tempo of the game, but were unable to get an early score. Hertford narrowed the gap with a penalty. The Blues’ fitness began to show as the half progressed and they began to put together some consistent attacks. Two penalties from Grant Pointer widened the gap for Bedford, and a good try from second row Greg Mathers took Bedford’s lead to 21pts – 8pts.
Hertford showed what a good side they are with some strong defence throughout the game. Bedford showed some real ambition in their attacks but too often they tried to force the final pass, rather than showing some patience and either going for field position, or taking the contact and recycling the ball. Although Bedford made hard work of the game, their fitness levels helped them to cope well with the heat and they looked stronger as the game progressed.
In the other semi-final down in Cornwall, Redruth beat Bishop’s Stortford by 11pts – 6pts. The final will be at Franklin’s Gardens, on Bank Holiday Monday, May 7th, Kick Off at 3 pm.
Academy 17pts: Bedford Colts 5pts:
Bedford went down to a good Bath side in a close game by 17pts - 5pts. With the score at 7pts - 0 until 15 minutes from the end Bedford were always in with a chance of an away upset against Bath, one of the RFU funded Premiership Academies. Bath's superior power and fitness showed in the last 15 minutes when they scored two good tries, to a Bedford try from flanker Sean Hughes. With both sides missing players due to England calls this was a good opportunity for both coaching teams to try some youngsters.
Bath started the game well and, with the wind in their favour, pinned Bedford back in their own half. The strong Bath front row gave Bedford a few problems in the first two scrums but Bedford settled and began to get back in the game. Bath took the lead when, from a driving lineout, they took the ball open and scored a good forward try under the posts to go 7pts – 0 ahead. Bath used the wind well to gain position but Bedford held and counterattacked with some good flowing moves on a number of occasions. Winger Ben Ventham and full back Matt Kay were close to scoring but were denied by a good last line of defence from Bath. Bath continued to attack but could find no way through a good Bedford defence. With no further score in the half Bedford turned around 7pts – 0 down at half time.
The second half opened at a furious pace with both sides increasing the pace of the game. Both sides put together some good attacks but both defences held. Bath, playing against the wind, coped more effectively than Bedford had in the first half. The power, and superior fitness, of Bath began to tell as they continually drove at Bedford but some heroic tackling held them. Bath stretched their lead after 20 minutes with two good tries resulting from their forward pressure. Bedford were not yet finished and inspired by scrum half Will Chudleigh, who made a number of telling breaks, they fought back into the Bath half to be rewarded by a try from flanker Sean Hughes, following a 5m lineout.
This was a game the Bath deserved to win but Bedford put up a great fight and were in with a chance of an upset until the last 15 minutes.
Bedford Colts 40 pts: Rosslyn Park Colts 14 pts:
A “New Look” Bedford Colts, with 8 players making their debut, were too strong for Rosslyn Park. Bedford scored 4 cracking tries in the first half to lead by 26pts – 0. Complacency from the Blues allowed Park to get back into the game in the second half before Bedford finished the game with two more good tries.
With a number of the “Senior Colts” being rested following the cup tie against Worcester last week, and with a tough away game at Bath next week, Bedford took the opportunity to look at a number of youngsters who are potential Academy Colts for next season. There were 5 new players in the back line; Under 18 Winger Tom Marfleet, who has just returned from 3 years in school in Australia where he played for New South Wales and trained with the Waratahs Academy; U18 centre James Knight (6’3” and 16 stone), ex-Leicester Academy, who has played for London and SE U18s this season and has been playing senior rugby for North Walsham; U17 fly half/centre Duncan Taylor, who has been playing senior rugby for Olney; U17 fly half/full back Andrew John from Old Albanians; and the youngest of them all U16 ex-Leicester Academy winger Gareth Clarke. Three players made their debut in the pack, U17 hooker George Warner from Ampthill and Northampton Saints; and U18s No.8 Joe Burton, Bedford Modern School and Ampthill, and flanker Sean Hughes from Saracens. All of them fitted in well and made their mark.
Bedford took the lead after 5 mins when winger Gareth Clarke came off his wing to break a tackle and had the strength to force his way over for the first try. Knight converted. Clarke scored again 10 mins later when great work from Taylor and Knight put him clear to score in the corner. Knight converted from the touchline. Knight was again on the score sheet when he scored Bedford’s next try, converting it himself. Bedford finished the half with another try from Knight following a good break from scrum half Martin Watkins. Only the slow arrival of the kicking tee, with the referee being insistent on the 60 secs rule, stopped Knight getting the conversion. Bedford were ahead by 26pts – 0 at half time with Rosslyn Park not knowing what had hit them.
With a big lead, and a number of the senior colts coming on at half time the game was set for Bedford to extend their lead. However complacency from the Blues allowed Rosslyn Park back into the game. Bedford allowed the pace of the game to drop, and there were no further scores for the next 20 mins, until Park hit back with two quick tries; a penalty try after a series of attacking drives had been stopped by Bedford, and an interception try when a Blues attack got too flat. Bedford woke up and hit back with two quick tries of their own; centre Jamie Russell accelerated through a gap to offload to fly half Luke Radley to score under the posts, Knight converted; and an inside pass at a ruck from scrum half half Will Chudley to prop Tom Williams, Knight again converted.
Apart from 20 minutes of complacency, this was a good performance from Bedford with all 8 new players contributing to a good first half performance. Bedford now have some tough selection choices to make for the tough trip to play away at Bath next Saturday and for the forthcoming Colts Cup semi-final.
Bedford: Jack Shewring, George Warner, Geoff Lewin, Joe Callaghan-Adnams, Joe Burton, Tom Mellor, Sean Hughes, Shane Allen (capt); Martin Watkins, Luke Radley; Tom Marfleet, Duncan Taylor, James Knight, Gareth Clarke; Andrew John: Subs: James Wright, George Gaywood, Tom Williams, Greg Mathers, Matt Mills, Adam Self, Will Chudley, Jamie Russell, Ben Ventham, Matt Kay: Shewring, Darryl Veenendaal, Will Sanson, Ben Stanley:
Bedford moved into the semi-finals of the National Colts Knock Out Cup with a win against Worcester by 17pts – 10pts. Bedford, who dominated Worcester up front, won by three tries to one (all scored by forwards).
The Blues pack took control of the game from the kick off forcing Worcester to concede a stream of penalties. Centre Jamie Russell was close with two early penalty attempts. Bedford took the lead, when from a further penalty, Worcester, expecting a goal kick, took their eye of the ball; scrum half Will Chudley saw the gap, went blind and fed No. 8 Joe Callaghan-Adnams for the Blues first try. Bedford continued to dominate up front but their attack could not find a way through the Worcester defence. Worcester, having held the onslaught began to settle and to take the game back to Bedford. The Worcester full back kicked a penalty from close to half way to narrow the score to 5pts – 3pts after 30 mins. The Bedford pack raised the tempo of the game and from a lineout, just inside the Worcester 22, drove the ball 15 metres for flanker Shane Allen to touch down. Bedford let Worcester back into the game when a wild pass in defence gave Worcester a scrum in the Bedford 22. The scrum was disrupted and half time came, with a 10pts – 3pts lead for Bedford scant reward for their first half dominance.
Bedford started the second half well and the Bedford forwards scored another try from a lineout drive, by lock Tom Coxall. The Bedford attack still could not find any space out wide and Worcester came back into the game. In a rare incursion to the Bedford half Worcester scored a good try from their open side flanker, who had an excellent game. The try was converted to make the score 17pts – 10pts to Bedford. Strong defence from both sides meant that neither side was able to make any further score.
This was a strong performance from Bedford in the contact area, reflecting the hard work put into contact training over the last few weeks, but the Blues attack needs to find more creativity. Bedford dominated possession and territory and should have won by a much greater margin. Bedford will find out who their Semi-Final opponents will be when the draw for the next round is made on Monday March 12th.
Bedford: James Wright, Chris Locke, Tom Williams (capt), Tom Coxall, Greg Mathers, Shane Allen, Adam Self, Joe Callaghan-Adnams; Will Chudley, Luke Radley; Bruce van Poortvliet, Jamie Burroughs, Jamie Russell, Matt Kay; Peter Clarke: Subs: Geoff Lewin, George Gaywood, Adam Ferrier, Jack Shewring, Darryl Veenendaal, Will Sanson, Ben Stanley:
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Market Bosworth Colts 13pts: Bedford Colts 15pts:
With 8 players missing due to England, Midlands and College commitments, Bedford needed to dig deep into their playing reserves in a tricky away game in their Round 5 tie of the National Colts Knock Out cup against Leicestershire side Market Bosworth. The Blues were lucky to gain a win against a good Market Bosworth side by 15pts - 13pts, and now move into the Quarter Finals of the National Colts Knock Out Cup Competition.
Bosworth started strongly and pressurised the Bedford pack. They went ahead with a penalty after 10 mins following a sustained period of attack. Unfortunately the Bosworth centre, and captain, was injured in the attack and played no more part in the game. Bedford weathered the storm and took the lead with try from full back Peter Clarke, converted by centre Jamie Russell. Bosworth regained the lead when following a period of forward pressure on the Bedford line they scored. The Blues managed to re-gain the lead before half time with a penalty from Russell; 10pts – 8pts at half time.
The Blues began to settle a little after half time and scored a good try wide out by winger Will Sanson to go 15pts – 8pts ahead. Bosworth were not about to give in and took the attack back at Bedford who found the Bosworth driving maul difficult to cope with. Bosworth attacked close in again with their pack to score another well taken forward try to narrow the gap to 15pts–13pts. The chance to draw with the conversion was missed. Bosworth continued to go for the win and were close with a dropped goal which would have given them the win and a place in the next round. Bedford managed to scramble the ball into touch and a relieved Bedford side heard the full time whistle.
This was a poor performance from the Blues. A combination of a noisy partisan home crowd, a touch of Blues complacency, a lack of discipline, and a good Bosworth side who fought to the final whistle, very nearly saw the Blues exit from the Cup competition. It is hoped that the Bedford squad will learn from this game and take these learnings into future games. Bedford will find out who their Quarter Final opponents will be when the draw for the next round is made on Monday February 12th.
Bedford: Geoff Lewin, George Gaywood, Tom Williams (capt), Joe Callaghan-Adnams, Greg Mathers, John Pelter, Adam Self, Shane Allen; Will Chudley, Luke Radley; Will Sanson, Jamie Russell, Matt Kay, Ollie Eaton; Peter Clarke: Subs: Jack Shewring, Adam Tawell, Adam Ferrier, Matt Polson.
Leicester Tigers Academy 17pts: Bedford Colts 5pts:
Saturday January 27 th 2007 :
In one of their best performances of the season Bedford Colts lost to a top class Leicester Tigers side by 17pts - 5pts in a great game of rugby at the Tigers training ground in Oadby. Leicester, one of the RFU funded Premiership Academies, had a number of their squad with Guinness A League experience and always represent a tough challenge. Having lost to the Tigers earlier in the season by 38pts - 14pts Bedford were determined to show the improvement they have made since then.
Leicester took an early lead when they outflanked the Bedford defence for right winger Jack Cobden to score wide out. After this early setback Bedford settled and began to put together some good attacks with the Blues pack running at the Leicester defence. The game remained tightly balanced with strong defence from both sides. Leicester stretched their lead just before half time when from a scrum on half way full back Mitchell Culpin broke through the centre to feed centre Ben Youngs to score in the corner.
The second half opened at a furious pace with Leicester increasing the physicality of the game by driving the ball up the centre with their strong pack. Bedford were more than up for the challenge and the Blues pack put in their best display of the season winning their fair share of the ball and taking the Leicester pack on. Bedford increased in confidence and ran the ball at Leicester at every opportunity. The quality of the rugby was outstanding with some great attack, and defence, being shown by both sides. Bedford narrowed the gap when from a scrum on half way a No. 8 pickup created space for the forwards to take the ball on, the ball was taken back blind, a quick ruck was won and the ball taken open again for centre Jamie Russell to score wide out. With the score at 10pts - 5pts to Leicester both sides continued to press for the winning score. It was deep in injury time that Leicester sealed the game with a try, with the conversion being the last kick of the game.
This was a game the Leicester just about deserved to win but the Bedford team showed the improvement they have made over the season to date. The forwards were more than a match for the Tigers pack, the Blues defence was outstanding and the back line showed real confidence by running at Leicester from deep in their own half. Above all the team approach with forwards and backs offloading the ball to keep it alive was great to see.
Some of the highlights of the game can be seen by clicking here
Bedford: Tom Williams, George Gaywood, Tom Coxall, Greg Mathers, Courtney Lawes, John Pelter (capt), Adam Self, Shane Allen; Will Chudley, Luke Radley; Will Sanson, Jamie Russell, Jamie Burroughs, Ben Ventham; Peter Clarke: Subs: Geoff Lewin, Adam Tawell, James Wright, Joe Callaghan-Adnams, Darryl Veenendaal, Bruce van Poortvliet, Matt Kay:
Academy 11pts: Bedford Colts 5pts:
With local pride at stake the game was played in a real competitive spirit. Saints had the better of the early exchanges and took the lead with a penalty after 5 minutes. Saints stretched their lead to go 8pts up 10 minutes later – a late run from deep by the Saints full back found space to get through the Bedford centre for a good try. Bedford settled and began to put together some good attacks with the Blues pack running at the Saints defence. Bedford attacked up the right hand side and won a number of attacking lineouts. From one of these the Bedford forwards drove the ball into the Saints 22, the ball was moved across the Blues back line and centre Jamie Russell delayed his pass and fed full back Grant Pointer coming from deep to cut through the Saints defence for a fine try, to make the score 8pts – 5pts at half time.
Bedford raised their game further in the second half and, with 75% of the possession put together a series of attacks. A combination of some poor decision making and an outstanding Saints defence denied Bedford a score. A single penalty from Saints was the only score of the half and Saints ended as winners by 11pts – 5pts.
Both sides need to be congratulated for a quality game played in miserable conditions. With Bedford providing most of the attacks in the second half, this was a game Bedford should have won. Nevertheless this was a very good performance from the Bedford squad. The pack went from strength to strength as the game progressed, the back line looked more dangerous than they have done for some time, and with a number of players returning from injury, and from representative rugby, after Christmas there will be tough competition for places for the Cup game against Sale on January 13th.
Midlands Division 14pts:
Bedford Colts 5pts:
With both defences strong, and the game played on a narrow school pitch, the game was dominated by forward exchanges, with neither attack able to establish any pattern. The Midlands took the lead with a dubious try just before half time when a 5m scrum wheeled 90 degrees (not allowed in U19 rugby) and the Midlands No. 8 picked up and scored under the posts.
Bedford began to put together a more cohesive game in the second half with the Bedford back row having a fine game. Good approach play led to a try by Bedford winger Will Sanson. The Midlands finished the game with the best try of the game – good support play and lines of running from the Midlands centres led to a good try to end the game with the Midlands winners by 14pts – 5pts.
Bedford: Tom Williams (capt), George Gaywood, Adam Ferrier, John Pelter, Tom Coxall, Shane Allen, Adam Self, Joe Callaghan-Adnams: Will Chudley, Jamie Russell: Ben Stanley, Jamie Burroughs, Bruce van Poortvliet, Will Sanson; Peter Clarke: Subs: Adam Tawell, Geoff Lewin, Toby Hills, Matt Mills, Luke Radley, Jonty Hallett, Tom Harris, Lewis Inwood:
U21 5pts: Bedford Colts 19 pts:
In one of their best performances of the season, the Bedford U19s (2 years younger than the Cambridge squad) beat Cambridge Univ U21s by 19pts - 5pts. A combination of torrential rain, and a nervous groundsman preparing for the Mickey Steele-Bodger game on Wednesday, caused the kick off to be delayed and the game eventually transferred to the Churchill College ground.
Bedford knew they would face a physical challenge from the older University side. Playing with a strong wind in the first half, they were under early pressure from the Cambridge pack. With both sides handling the ball well in poor conditions, and with both defences well organized, it was a tight first half. It was not until late in the half that Cambridge scored a try from a driving lineout to lead by 5pts – 0 at half time.
Bedford started the second half well, with a try wide out by winger Will Sanson, fly half Jamie Russell converted from the touchline, into the wind. Playing into the strong wind Bedford began to move the ball away from the Cambridge pack. After a period of sustained attack Bedford went further ahead with another wide move, and another try for Sanson. The try of the game followed 5 minutes later. Bedford won a turnover ball from a Cambridge attack and moved the ball away quickly from the contact area. Centre Bruce van Poortvliet, playing his first game for Bedford, made a clean break and fed Russell for a try under the posts. Russell converted; Bedford 19pts – 5pts ahead.
A number of players stood out. Sanson looked dangerous whenever he had the ball; full back Peter Clarke’s decision making was good, mixing his game between counter attack and well judged kicks; scrum half Will Chudley continually pressurised his opposite number and made a number of telling breaks. In the forwards Tom Williams had a strong game in the tight and in the loose. The Bedford backrow (two of them still schoolboys) were outstanding. Joe Callaghan-Adnams had a fine game at No. 8 tidying up the base of the scrum; blindside flanker Shane Allen was everywhere in attack and defence, and open side Adam Self, like all good No. 7s, played on the edge of the laws, got to know the referee well, and made a thorough nuisance of himself all afternoon.
This was one of the Blues’ best performances of the season. Against an older, bigger side, they played intelligent rugby to minimise the University’s age and size advantage and to play to their own strengths. Bedford’s defence was outstanding with players trusting the defensive system and trusting each other. In attack Bedford moved the ball well and always looked dangerous with the wide ball, especially when counterattacking. Above all the Bedford players approach to the game was to be commended. Against an older team they never stopped competing, they played to the game plan they had prepared, and it was Bedford who looked the stronger and fitter as the game progressed.
Williams (capt), Adam Tawell, Adam Ferrier, John Pelter, Tom Coxall,
Shane Allen, Adam Self, Joe Callaghan-Adnams; Will Chudley, Jamie Russell:
Ben Stanley, Bruce van Poortvliet, Ben Ventham, Will Sanson; Peter Clarke:
Subs: Geoff Lewin, Stuart Polson, Tom Meller, Lewis Inwood, Ollie Eaton,
Bedford Colts 43 pts:
Bedford squandered two clear try scoring chances in the first 5 minutes by holding on to the ball for too long before winger Ben Stanley opened the scoring with a try scored from a simple set move from a scrum. Fly half Jamie Russell converted. Further tries followed from winger Matt Kay and flanker Adam Self and, with a penalty from Russell, Bedford were 20pts – 0 ahead at half time. Whilst a strong blustery wind made playing conditions difficult, Bedford added to the difficulties by over complicating some moves in the middle of the half.
Bedford raised the pace of the game in the second half and went back to a simpler approach using straight running and quick hands. Kay scored his 2nd try following good approach work from backs and forwards. Hinckley fought back and were rewarded with a penalty try when the referee ruled that Bedford has collapsed a maul. The last 20 minutes saw Bedford play their best rugby of the game. Tries came from replacements Will Sanson and Ben Ventham, and a penalty from Russell, before Hinckley had a player shown a red card. Bedford kicked the penalty into the right hand corner and scored the try of the game when the lineout was won, and the ball moved across the line for a try in the left hand corner from full back Peter Clarke.
This was a good
win against opposition that competed right to the end. Thanks go the
Hinckley club for their welcome and hospitality. The second half performance
showed that the Bedford squad are beginning to learn that simple rugby,
played with power at pace, is so much more effective than over complication.
Bedford have been drawn to play Sale at home in the next round of the
competition, due to be played by mid-January.
Williams (capt), Chris Locke, Adam Ferrier, Courtney Lawes, Tom Coxall,
John Pelter, Adam Self, Shane Allen; Will Chudley, Jamie Russell: Ben
Stanley, Jamie Burroughs, Jonty Hallett, Matt Kay; Peter Clarke: Subs:
Jack Shewring, Sheldon Reynecke, Stuart Polson, Joe Callaghan-Adnams,
Will Sanson, Ben Ventham, Lewis Inwood.
Bedford Academy 64 pts: RAF Under 23 XV 0 pts:
Sunday October 29th 2006:
Bedford Academy were too strong for the RAF Under 23 XV, winning convincingly by 64pts – 0 at Goldington Road. The RAF are in the final stages of their preparations for the Inter-Services Under 23 Competition and face the Navy in two weeks time and the Army the week after. The Bedford squad featured a mix of youth and experience with the bulk of the squad being 17 and 18 year old players from the Colts XV, supplemented by Liam Roberts, making a welcome return from injury, Ben Alexander and Matt Price, getting valuable game time, and Under 20 players Terry Cooper, Bert Yirrall and Tom Elliott.
Bedford started the game at a cracking pace and scored after 3 minutes. Good pressure from backs and forwards, and flanker Adam Self scored under the posts converted by flyhalf Jamie Russell. Russell added to the score with a converted try 10 minutes later. The lead was stretched when the RAF, on a rare visit to the Bedford 22, lost the ball to a pressure defence, allowing winger Ben Stanley to gather the ball and show strength and pace, and run the length of the pitch for a try, converted by Russell. Bedford went further ahead when a peel from a lineout saw 2nd row Tom Coxall run at the heart of the defence, a quick ruck and the ball was brought back blind for full back Tom Elliott and No. 8 Terry Cooper to link and put in hooker Matt Price in the corner. Bedford stretched their lead with tries from Stanley, following a quick penalty taken by scrum half Bert Yirrall; from Elliott, following a good drive from the forwards; and from Cooper after good interplay from backs and forwards. Russell converted three more tries for Bedford to end the half 47pts – 0 ahead.
Bedford No 8, Terry Cooper, scores against the RAF
Bedford started the 2nd half with a great break and offload from Cooper putting in Yirrall under the posts, converted by Russell. A further score came from flanker Shane Allen after a lineout drive. The RAF began to get back into the game by keeping the ball tight and trying to pressurise the younger Bedford side up front. Bedford kept their discipline and put up a great defensive display. Bedford scored their final try after 30 minutes when strong running from prop Tom Williams, and flanker Matt Mills, was taken on by scrum half Will Chudley for winger Matt Kay to score. The RAF spent the last 10 minutes of the game camped on the Bedford line but the Bedford defence held to deny the RAF a score.
This was a good test for the Bedford squad, who will have learnt and benefited from playing against the older RAF side, and playing with some of the more experienced Bedford players. Whilst the RAF, with players coming together from many different RAF stations, lacked some of the organization of the Bedford side, they presented a real physical challenge to the Bedford youngsters, and continued to compete to the end. The Bedford spirit was typified by the sight of flankers Adam Self and Matt Mills, both having left the pitch to have head wounds stitched and glued, returning to put in tackle after tackle in the last 10 minutes.
Bedford: Ben Alexander, Matt Price, Tom Williams (capt), Tom Coxall, John Pelter, Shane Allen, Adam Self, Terry Cooper; Bert Yirrall, Jamie Russell; Ben Stanley, Jamie Burroughs, Liam Roberts, Peter Clarke; Tom Elliott: Subs: Geoff Lewin, Adam Tawell, George Gaywood, Matt Mills, Tom Mellor, Will Chudley, Luke Radley, Matt Kay, Ben Ventham;
Bedford Colts 26 pts: Moseley 14pts:
Saturday October 21st 2006:
After a hard week’s training on contact skills Bedford Colts dominated the first half against Moseley to take a 19pts – 0 lead at half time. Complacency, and over-complication, then led to Bedford losing the second half by 14pts - 7 pts, and a final score of 26pts – 14pts to Bedford.
Bedford took the lead after 6 minutes when a great break by centre Jamie Burroughs led to a penalty when Moseley tried to kill the ball in the ruck. A quick tap penalty was taken, Bedford won the next ruck and prop Tom Williams powered over. Bedford kept up the pressure and flanker Adam Self scored from a lineout drive. Bedford scored again when they attacked straight from the kick off. Jonny Pelter and Will Chudley took the ball on for Matt Kay to score. Jamie Russell converted to make the half time score 19pts – 0. Bedford showed good composure in the first half. Their contact skills were excellent and in appalling conditions, with heavy rain for most of the half, they controlled the game well, giving Moseley little chance to play.
Bedford started the second half in the same style. A good break from deep from centre Jonty Hallett led to a try for winger Ben Stanley, converted by Russell to go ahead by 26pts – 0.
Bedford Winger, Ben Stanley, goes over for Bedford’s fourth try.
Complacency, and over-complication, then set in with Bedford ignoring the style of play that had been successful in the first half. A static flat attack from Bedford after 20 minutes allowed Moseley to turn over ball and counterattack for a good converted score to go 26pts – 7pts. Poor kicking against the wind from Bedford squandered good possession and allowed Moseley to gain some confidence. 10 minutes later Moseley forced their way over for another converted try to end the game at 26pts – 14pts to Bedford.
After an outstanding first half when Bedford put into practice all they had worked on in training during the week, this was a disappointing second half performance against a much younger Moseley side. Moseley need to be congratulated for not giving in (the Moseley coaches thought they would have lost by 50 pts if Bedford had played to their potential in the second half). With their first game in the Colts National Cup in two weeks time Bedford need to learn to be more clinical and to stick to a winning game plan.
Bedford: George Gaywood, Chris Locke, Tom Williams (capt), Joe Callaghan-Adams, John Pelter, Shane Allen, Adam Self, Greg Mathers; Will Chudley, Luke Radley; Ben Stanley, Jamie Burroughs, Jamie Russell, Matt Kay; Peter Clarke: Subs: Jack Shewring, Sheldon Reynecke, Stuart Polson, Neil McKinnon, Jonty Hallett, Ben Ventham;
Univ Freshers 3 pts: Bedford Colts 17 pts:
L’boro, with an age advantage over the Bedford squad, started the game well with some strong running from their back line. Bedford’s first line defence was found wanting but a combination of L’boro mistakes and a good last line of defence from Bedford kept L’boro out. Bedford took the lead after 15 minutes when some good interpassing from the forwards made ground. Centre Peter Clarke broke through and scored for fly half Jamie Russell to convert. Bedford kept up the pressure and following a great ruck from two or three of the Bedford backs, L’boro conceded a 5m lineout – a long throw and a peel round the back of the lineout saw 2nd row Courtney Lawes score a good try. L’boro scored a late penalty to make the half time score 12pts – 3pts to Bedford.
Bedford had a
good start to the 2nd half when again good support play from the forwards
put Clarke in for a try. L’boro came back at Bedford and put in
a sustained period of attack. The Bedford defence, which had looked
shaky in the first half, improved and L’boro were unable to get
over the Bedford line. Bedford weathered the storm and came back at
L’boro; a good win to the younger Bedford side by 17pts –
Shewring, Chris Locke, Tom Williams (capt), Courtney Lawes, Tom Coxall,
John Pelter, Adam Self, Greg Mathers; Will Chudley, Jamie Russell: Ben
Stanley, Jonty Hallett, Peter Clarke, Ben Ventham; Matt Kay Subs: George
Gaywood, Sheldon Reynecke, Adam Tawell, Shane Allen, Joe Callaghan-A,
Luke Radley, Lewis Inwood.
14 pts : Leicester Colts 36 pts:
Leicester started the game well with a try after 5 minutes, following a well worked move in the back line. Leicester went further ahead with two good tries, made by a sharp back line. Bedford fought back and scored a fine try of their own – a Leicester scrum, taken against the head, a No. 8 pick up, a quick ruck was won and the ball taken back to the blind side with hooker Chris Locke and second row Courtney Lawes carrying to ball on, another quick ruck and full back Peter Clarke sent the Leicester defence the wrong way to score a try under the posts, converted by fly half Jamie Russell. Unfortunately Bedford were unable to reproduce this form consistently and went in at half time 21pts – 7pts behind.
Leicester increased their lead in the second half through a two further well worked tries. Bedford scored a good try to finish the game when Clarke made ground and Matt Kay fought his way over. Russell converted to make the final score 36pts – 14pts to Leicester.
Bedford competed well up front, but their defence, a strong point all season, was found out by a very good Leicester back line. Bedford won good first phase ball but too often allowed Leicester to turn over ball. Leicester had a sharp back line and they made Bedford pay for any mistakes. Bedford failed to capitalize on possession and position and made too many wrong decisions in attack. Having played Leinster and Leicester, two of the best U19 sides in the UK, in the last two weeks the Bedford squad now need to put the lessons into practice and begin to believe in themselves. If they can do so they can develop into a good side.
Williams (capt), Chris Locke, Adam Ferrier, Courtney Lawes, Tom Coxall,
John Pelter, Adam Self, Greg Mathers; Jamie Burroughs, Jamie Russell:
Ben Stanley, Jonty Hallett, Ben Ventham, Will Sanson, Peter Clarke;
Subs: Jack Shewring, Adam Tawell, Kerry Boyd, Shane Allen, Will Chudley,
Matt Kay, Lewis Inwood
13 pts : Leinster 0 pts:
The game was evenly balanced in the first half with Bedford competing well and showing strong defence. A Leinster penalty was the only score to give Leinster a 3 pts – 0 lead at half time.
The second half was played in a torrential downpour which led to mistakes from both sides. Leinster stretched their lead with well taken tries from their fullback, after good work by the Leinster back line, and from the scrum half, with a quick tap penalty which caught Bedford napping.
This was a disappointing game for Bedford who made too many basic mistakes, allowing Leinster, who were much more “streetwise” to steal Bedford ball in the contact area, and although Bedford had a good share of possession they lacked penetration with the ball in hand. Bedford defence was again strong but some of the other basics need further attention. Leicester Tigers, next Saturday, will offer another tough test.
Bedford: Tom Williams (capt), George Gaywood, Adam Ferrier, Kerry Boyd, Courtney Lawes, John Pelter, Jack Micans, Greg Mathers; Jamie Burroughs, Jamie Russell: Ben Stanley, Jonty Hallett, Ben Ventham, Lewis Inwoord: Will Sanson; Subs: Jack Shewring, Adam Tawell, Sheldon Reynecke, Tom Coxall, Shane Allen, Adam Self, Ben Timpson, Will Chudley, Jonny
44 pts : Nottingham Colts 0 pts:
Bedford got off to a good start when after a drive by the forwards fly half Jamie Russell made a good break and offloaded in the tackle to centre Grant Pointer to score the first try after 5 mins. Bedford went further ahead after 10 minutes when after a No. 8 pick up from a set scrum set up a try for full back Peter Clarke. After these two setbacks Nottingham got back into the game and began to put together some good attacks. The Bedford defence was solid and Nottingham could find no way through. Bedford stretched their lead to 15pts – 0 at half time with a try from flanker Shane Allen from a lineout drive.
Bedford increased the pace of the game in the second half and began to put together some good moves involving both backs and forwards. Further scores came from hooker Chris Locke, from another lineout drive, and flanker Adam Self, from a forward drive. Clarke scored his second with a good individual effort and Pointer claimed his “hat trick” with two further tries, both the result of good approach work from backs and forwards. Pointer added two conversions to make the final score 44pts – 0.
This was a good
first game from Bedford. The defence was strong, interplay between backs
and forwards was good and the side look to have the makings of a good
team. Some of the basics need further attention and Leinster, next Sunday,
and Leicester Tigers, in two weeks time, will both offer much tougher
tests, however this was a promising first outing for the Blues Colts.
Williams (capt), Adam Tawell, Adam Ferrier, Tom Coxall, Courtney Lawes,
Shane Allen, Jack Micans, John Pelter; Jamie Burroughs, Jamie Russell:
Ben Stanley, Jonty Hallett, Grant Pointer, Will Sanson; Peter Clarke:
Subs: Sheldon Reynecke, Chris Locke, Jack Shewring, Adam Self, Ben Timpson,
Greg Mathers, Will Chudley, Lewis Inwood: