England U18 Clubs & Schools XV v Bedford Academy U19
The Blues Academy lost to England U18 Clubs & Schools XV in a fast open game at Loughborough University. Down by 24pts - 3 at half time the Blues put in a better second half to end as losers by 38pts - 17. Bedford, who won the corresponding fixture last year, were invited to play England again to help them in their preparations for the Tri-Nations tournament where they will play France and Ireland in Paris in two weeks time.
England started well when they found holes in the Blues defence to take an early lead after 5 minutes. With four tries and two conversions to a solitary penalty by Blues fly half Cameron Gregory-Ring, England took a well-deserved half time lead of 24pts - 3.
Bedford put together a much more convincing performance in the second half to score two good tries from scrum half Kieran Duffin, from a quick tap penalty, and winger Eric Edwin, following good approach work from the Blues pack and quick ball which was moved wide by the Blues back line. Gregory-Ring converted both. England scored two good tries of their own in the second half, both converted by Blues fly-half Dan Lewis who is in the England squad, to make the final score 38pts - 17 to England.
Blues Academy Director, Denis Ormesher, said .... "We made too many basic errors in the first half, and gave England too much respect. They have some quality players who capitalised on our mistakes which allowed England to build a strong lead at half time. Our performance in the second half was much better and we began to play some good rugby. Playing England is a real honour for the Blues, and should act as a good learning exercise for our players.
"Our final game of the season is next Saturday, when we play London Scottish U19s at Goldington Road, with Kick Off at 2.30 pm. "
Bedford: Joe Foreman, Josh Taylor, Connor Adams, Zak Farrance, Brad Scharff, Dan Martin (capt), Ryan Brett-Williams, Joss Morgan; Kieran Duffin, Cameron Gregory-Ring; Max Titchener, Nico Defeo, Michael Phillips, Luke Hibberd; Scott Lyle: Replacements: Garth Spencer, Will Dyer, Hayden King, Ben Ibrahim, Alex Burnam, James Parsons, Reece Lane, Ollie Walker, Ben Calder, Dan Hope, Charlie Reed, Eric Edwin: