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Bedford Blues Academy vs Cambridge University U21
After building a 19pts - 14 lead at half time, playing up the slope, the Blues Academy allowed Cambridge University U21 XV back into the game and lost a tight game by 35pts - 33.
Bedford had the better of the early exchanges putting the older Cambridge forwards under some pressure. Bedford were first to score when, after 8 minutes, 2nd row Ben Patterson was up in support to score; fly half Cameron Gregory-Ring converted. Patterson scored again after 20 minutes when the Blues forwards made good ground for Patterson to touch down for his second; Gregory-Ring converted. Cambridge hit back with a good try from a 5m lineout drive which was converted. Bedford were next to score when the Blues forwards again drove the ball for prop Josh Pierterse to score. Bedford began to play some very good rugby, with their forwards having the edge over their older opponents, and the Blues playing some good continuous rugby but the lack of a clinical finishing edge cost them a number of tries. A Blues defensive error allowed Cambridge to break out and score a converted try to make the half time score 19pts - 14 to to Bedford.
Bedford came out after the break and attacked straight away but a dropped pass in the Blues centre after a few minutes gave the students an interception and a converted try under the posts to put them ahead by 21pts -19. Bedford took control again and a 5m lineout was driven for 2nd row Matt Norfolk-Clarke to score and Gregory-Ring convert. Cambridge scored straight from the kick off, when Bedford failed to compete, the students recyled the ball quickly and scored under the posts to go back into the lead 28pts - 26. The lead was to change hands again twice before the end; Blues scrum half Kieran Duffin scored, and centre George Elliott converted, to put the Blues back into the lead, but the students scored from a 5m lineout drive late in injury time; the conversion from the touchline gave them a 35pts - 33 win.
Blues Academy Director Denis Ormesher said ... "Although this was a good game to watch, it was disappointing from a Blues point of view. We played enough good rugby in the first half to have won the game but poor finishing cost us too many scores. We created space from good approach work from forwards and backs but we were not clinical enough in finishing. We allowed Cambridge back into the game in the second half and defensive errors, and poor finishing, cost us the win. Cambridge showed great character in competing continually and eventually deserved the win. We were pleased with the physicality we showed and our pack did well against the older students. At times the linkage between forwards and backs was excellent. With tough games against Loughborough University and Oxford University U21 XVs in the next two weeks we need to build on this and become far more clinical to finish the chances we create."
Bedford: Josh Pierterse, Josh Taylor, Connor Adams, Matt Norfolk-Clarke, Ben Patterson, Kennett O'Neill (capt), Ryan Brett-Williams, Dan Martin; Ben Calder, Cameron Gregory-Ring; Eric Edwin, George Elliott, Freddie Henley-Hunter, Luke Hibberd; Dylan van Dieman; Subs: Tom Webb, Ollie Dancer, Braderley Dunkerley, Kieran Frost, Callum Austen, Reece Lane, Kieran Duffin, Harry Chater: