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Bedford Blues Academy vs Nottingham
The Blues Academy won the first game of the "double header" weekend against Nottingham. Although slow to get into gear the Blues scored seven tries to produce a convincing performance to win by 43pts - 12, and set the scene for the Blues Championship game away at Nottingham on Sunday.
Nottingham had the better of the early exchanges putting the Blues scrum under some pressure, and slowing down the Blues ruck ball. Bedford were first to score when, after 15 minutes, full back Aaron Morris was put in the corner by centre George Elliott. The Blues scored again five minutes later when after continual pressure flanker Kennett O'Neil gave No.8 Ryan Brett-Williams a scoring pass. Nottingham hit back with a good try by their hooker following a number of defensive mistakes by the Blues. Morris scored his second just before half time with a strong run from deep; fly half Dan Lewis converted to make the score 17pts - 5 to Bedford at half time.
Playing up the slope in the second half the Blues upped the intensity to put Nottingham under increased pressure and scored three tries in quick succession. Centre Freddie Henley-Hunter scored in the right hand corner after Bedford recycled the ball quickly; Lewis converted with a kick from the touchline. The try of the game came five minutes later when a Blues counter attack from deep in their own half was taken on by O'Neill, Morris and Elliott for scrum half Ben Calder to score; Lewis converted. Bedford scored again when following six 6 phases of play the Blues recycled the ball quickly and fly half Lewis, changing the direction of attack, went blind and fed Morris for a try; Lewis converted, again from the touchline, and the Blues were 38pts - 5 ahead. Winger Max Titchener finished the Blues scoring with a try in the corner. Bedford relaxed and allowed Nottingham back into the game in the last 15 minutes, and with an increasing penalty count against the Blues, Nottingham made good ground, and finished the game with a good try down the blind side to make the final score 43pts - 12 to Bedford.
Blues Academy Director Denis Ormesher said ... "We were pleased with the performance today but we let Nottingham off the hook at the end and our penalty count was too high. This could be crucial in tighter games. With a tough game against Cambridge University U21 XV next week we will need to improve in this area. However some of the tries we created today were real quality, and when we played simple rugby at a high intensity we were very effective."
Bedford: Tom Webb, Josh Taylor, Joe Foreman, Matt Norfolk-Clarke, Ben Patterson, Joss Morgan, Kennett O'Neill (capt), Ryan Brett-Williams; Kieran Duffin, Dan Lewis; Eric Edwin, George Elliott, Freddie Henley-Hunter, Keano van Dieman; Aaron Morris: Subs: Josh Pierterse, Garth Spencer, Connor Adams, Reece Lane, Tom Duffincy, Ben Calder, Cameron Gregory-Ring, Dylan van Dieman, Max Titchener: