Bedford Blues Academy v NSW Country XV
The Blues Academy welcomed the New South Wales Country XV to Goldington Road and after a tight game were winners by 17pts - 10. The New South Wales Country Rugby Union (NSWCRU), who claim to be the largest Rugby province in the world, cover over 80% of the regional and rural areas of New South Wales outside the Sydney metropolitan district - over one hundred clubs with a Senior, Junior, Schools and Women player base of over thirty six thousand people. The NW Country U18 XV are touring the UK and playing games against Glamorgan Wanderers and Oaklands College/Saracens as well as Bedford Blues Academy.
The Blues playing up the slope in the first half had the majority of the territory but found it difficult to get any continuity. NSW were first to score with a breakaway try after 20 minutes scored by their captain and scrum half Brenton Acreman. The Blues hit straight back with a try from a lineout drive touched down by 2nd row Ben Patterson, converted by fly half Dan Lewis, to make the half time score 7pts - 5 to Bedford.
Bedford extended their lead when, after working a number of phase to the right, they switched play and moved the ball across the back line for a long pass to put full back Cameron Gregory-Ring in for a try in the left corner. NSW scored next with a well worked try from flanker Trent Dickerman, to bring the score to 12pts - 10 to the Blues. Bedford sealed the win with a 2nd try from Ben Patterson, again with a drive from a 5m lineout, to give the Blues a 17pts - 10 win. Blues captain, James Pritchard, who has returned from International duty with Canada, attended the game to welcome NSW. Pritch, who was born in Parkes, New South Wales, and played his early rugby in NSW for Paramatta Eels (Rugby League) and Randwick (Rugby Union), made a presentation to the NSW team after the game.
Blues Academy Director Denis Ormesher said ... "We made very hard work of this. Our set piece play was effective but NSW competed well at the breakdown and made it dificult for us to establish any phases of play. Too often we would lose the ball in contact, or concede a penalty, because the ball carrier was isolated."
Bedford: Joe Foreman, Garth Spencer, Connor Adams, Callum Austen, Ben Patterson, Matt Norfolk-Clarke, Reece Lane, Brad Scharff; Kieran Duffin (capt), Dan Lewis; Keano van Dieman, Dylan van Dieman, Freddie Henley-Hunter, Luke Hibberd, Cameron Gregory-Ring: Replacements: Ollie Dancer, Tom Webb, Hadyn King, Zak Farrance, Ben Calder, Scott Lyle, Dan Hope, Max Titchener: