Bedford Blues Academy v Northampton Saints Academy

Saturday, 18 October, 2014 - 12:00
Academy Academy
Lost 22 - 34

Bedford Academy lost to a strong Saints Academy side, in a cracking game of rugby, by 34pts - 22pts.  With Saints, one of the RFU funded Academies, fielding a number of contracted players, with England U18 and Scotland U20 experience, it was always going to be a tough day for the Blues.  Centre Rory Hutchinson appeared for Scotland U20 in the World Cup in New Zealand this summer, and hooker James Fish, flanker Lewis Ludlum and centre Harry Mallinder (all 6’5” of him) have recently returned from the England U18 unbeaten tour of South Africa, which included a win over South Africa.  Bedford gave a great account of themselves with the Saints taking a 17pts – 12 half time lead, before running out as winners by 34pts – 22.

Northampton took the lead after 15 minutes when a Blues clearance kick was charged down.  Saints won the ball and after two quick rucks the ball was moved quickly by centres Harry Mallinder and Rory Hutchinson, to put full back Adam Shaw in for a score in the left corner.  Saints stretched their lead 5 minutes later when a lineout on the left was driven, before the ball was moved to the right and Mallinder and Hutchinson again combined to put Shaw in for a try, this time in the right hand corner.  Mallinder converted and Saints were 12pts – 0 ahead.  The Blues hit back straight from the kick off.  Good ground was made and Bedford mounted a number of attacks, before centre Aaron Martin made good ground, the ruck was won and prop Hayden King crashed over for the Blues first score.  Fly half Cameron Gregory-Ring converted to make the score 12pts -7.  Bedford increased their tempo and began to put Saints under some pressure. This was rewarded with a good try from winger Luke Hibberd just before half time.  The Blues own a scrum just inside their own half; the ball was move to the right and Hibberd beat his winger with a hand off on the half way line before beating the cover and going around the full back to make the score 12pts all.  Saints hit back straight from the kick off, when they won a scrum on the Blues 22 for Mallinder to give a one handed pass to Hutchinson to score, to make the half time score 17pts – 12 to the Saints.

Saints opened the scoring in the second half with a driven lineout and a try from scrum half Rob Smith to go 22pts - 12 ahead.  This was followed 5 minutes later when after great approach work by the Blues pack No 8 Felix Maddison slipped a ball to flanker Harry Agnew to break through to score under the posts;  Gregory-Ring converted to make it 22pts – 19, before he leveled the scores 10 minutes later with a penalty.  Saints moved ahead once again when a Blues penalty kick missed touch, Saints counterattacked to get the ball to Shaw on the right wing.  He beat the cover and chipped ahead to claim his hat trick to put Saints ahead by 29pts – 22.  Saints closed off the game with a try from Freddie McKibbon, converted by fly half James Grayson, to make the final score 34pts – 22 to Saints.

 

Blues Academy Director Denis Ormesher said …“This was cracking game of rugby, with some strong play from both sides.  Saints were a real handful and I thought Mallinder and Hutchinson were outstanding in the centre.  Although Saints just deserved the win, I was delighted with the Bedford boys’ performance.   This was a close game and they matched them all the way.  Our work in the contact area, and in defence, were both very good, and with a bit more of a clinical finish in attack the result could have been very different.  Playing against the RFU funded Academies is a great way for our boys to measure their development.  They did themselves, and the Blues, proud today.”

 

Bedford: Josh Waller, Ben Wilkinson, Hayden King, Sam Copeland, Josh Fadden, Harry Agnew, Joe Brock (capt), Felix Maddison; Olli Venni, Chris Easton; Scott Lyle, Cameron Gregory-Ring, Aaron Martin, Luke Hibberd, Ben Meaden: Replacements: Liam Appleton, Charley Robinson, Alec Burman, Callum Strachan, Nick Pritchard, Steffan Osman-Wiggin, Dylan Leney, Will Foster, Mike Phillips, Max Titchener.

 

Next Home Match

Friday 24th November
1st XV Championship
Goldington Road
Kick-Off
7.45pm

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Photography

See more pictures courtesy of Nigel Rudgard at

frontrow.photium.com