Pontypridd v Bedford Blues

Saturday, 13 August, 2016 - 14:30
1st XV Pre Season
Won 14-66

97 days on from the Championship play-off semi-final defeat to Bristol, Bedford Blues were back in action in preparation for the coming campaign as they defeated Welsh Principality side Pontypridd 14-66 on Saturday afternoon.

The Blues, who were fielding 12 new faces in the match day squad, ran in ten tries during the course of the game with Pat Tapley securing a hat-trick, debutant scrum half Tom James scored a brace while Jacob Fields, Elliot Clements-Hill, Jordan Burns, Jason Hill and Jack Culverhouse all crossed the whitewash. Myles Dorrian converted five of the tries with Jake Sharp chipping over three more.

Speaking after the game, Blues Director of Rugby Mike Rayer said: "I'm pleased with the performance today, as much as the result. We kept our attacking shape and were also tested defensively but we limited Ponty to two scores which was to our credit.

"We will go away and analyse some aspects of our play, some things we need to tighten up on, but our pace and movement was good for a first outing after the summer break."

It took Bedford, who were in Wales as part of a pre-season training camp, just two minutes to score the opening try when Tapley found space out wide and strolled in for an unconverted try but Ponty fired back ten minutes later when flanker Darren Waters broke from the back of a driving maul to score with Ceri Sweeney converting.

The lead lasted just a few minutes though as the Blues responded swiftly with a lineout move of their own which saw Fields forcing his way over in the 15th minute with Dorrian adding the extras. In the space of seven minutes it was 7-19 as first Clements-Hill and then James went over off the back of impressive moves with Dorrian converting both.

James continued to shine and when the Blues were awarded a penalty, he spotted a gap and broke away to score with Dorrian slotting the conversion once again. Quick thinking from James then led to the Blues sixth try of the afternoon as he set up the move which saw Tapley score and Dorrian made it 7-40 at the break.

Changes followed at the interval but Bedford’s momentum didn’t diminish at all and Burns, who was playing on the wing, crossed just two minutes after the restart and this was quickly followed by Tapley rounding off his hat-trick with Sharp putting both conversions over the uprights.

Bedford continued to dominate large portions of the game, but a yellow card for George Edgson provided the hosts with an opportunity which they duly took in the 60th minute when another driving maul was exploited with Liam Belch going over and Callum Hall converting to make it 14-54.

But the afternoon was to be Bedford’s as Hill scored on his debut in the 68th minute with a well worked try before Culverhouse crossed the line in the final minute with Sharp adding the extras to cap off a comprehensive win.

The Blues now face Premiership and European Champions Saracens at Goldington Road on Friday night before welcoming Ponty to Bedford on Saturday 27th August. You can buy discounted tickets for both games by clicking HERE.

Next Home Match

Wednesday 26th December
1st XV
Goldington Road



See more pictures courtesy of Nigel Rudgard at