Yorkshire Carnegie v Bedford Blues

Sunday, 8 March, 2015 - 15:00
1st XV Championship
Lost 15 - 8

Bedford have been leap-frogged in the Championship by Yorkshire Carnegie after a 15-8 defeat in Leeds on Sunday afternoon writes Bedfordshire on Sunday.

Blues drove up north looking for a vital win after just one victory in their last six games, with just one place separating them and Carnegie in the table.

Steffan Jones, Mike Le Bourgeois, Darryl Veenendaal, Paul Tupai and Hayden Thompson-Stringer all returned to the starting fifteen, while Luke Baldwin was named on the replacements bench after re-joining the club on loan from Bristol.

The game was a scrappy affair but a lack of ball and poor tackling meant Bedford were always under pressure and had few attacking opportunities. Only Carnegie's impotence meant the scoreline wasn't greater.

A good box kick from Veenendaal two minutes in saw Carnegie knock on deep in their own half, but the Blues were unable to capitalise, giving away a penalty at the resulting scrum.

Good pressure from a Baden Kerr clearance kick gave Bedford a lineout in a promising position, but the backs' move annoyingly broke down after the ball hit the referee; a shame after Pat Tapley made hard yards in the centre of the field.

A combination of missed tackles and penalty infringements saw Carnegie camp in the visitors' half for the next ten minutes, but all they had to show for it was a Harry Leonard missed penalty after some sloppy offloading.

An overthrown lineout saw Carnegie break again and although Leonard's chip through bounced the wrong way for the oncoming David Doherty, the home side won a scrum. More sloppy offloading saw Bedford clear their lines though and the match remained pointless after 25 minutes.

A Carnegie infringement saw Kerr kick for the corner and Bedford were in the opposition 22 for the first time in the match. The resulting maul was held up though and Carnegie continued to dominate the scrum, another penalty following for the home side.

Some slicker Yorkshire handling saw Bedford under pressure again and the stretched defence cracked as Doherty went over for the first points of the game. Leonard added the conversion.

This spurred the Blues into action and a lineout close to the Carnegie line saw the backs spread the ball wide to create an overlap. The home defence put a big hit in on Tapley though and after conceding a penalty, Bedford again came away from the opposition half pointless.

Leonard kicked a penalty to put Bedford 10 points down, but more good handling in the backs and a Carnegie infringement gave Kerr the chance to reduce the deficit. The Kiwi missed the penalty though and the sides went in to the break 10-0 in favour of the northerners.

Bedford, pushed on by the well-voiced visiting crowd, started strongly in the second half, with Tapley and Ben Gulliver making yards with the ball. Only a suspicious forward pass call stopped Henry Staff from sneaking in at the corner.

A mistake from Leonard saw Steffan Jones break through some half-hearted tackles to put his side in a good position, and with Tapley once again making yards with ball in hand, Carnegie were penalised for not releasing the tackler and Kerr slotted the penalty to get Bedford on the scoreboard with ten minutes of the second half gone.

Strong tackling from Nick Fenton-Wells and Viliami Hakalo halted another home side attack, but another penalty saw Carnegie kick for the corner and they spun it wide for Oli Goss to cross in the corner. Leonard missed the chance to add the extra two.

Camilo Parillo-Ocampo and Phil Boulton came on in the front row, while Baldwin replaced Veenendaal, the scrum half making his first appearance since re-joining the club. A Gulliver knock on broke down a promising attacking phase, but Baldwin's introduction added a much-needed spark and good hands from Fenton-Wells started another attack which again was prematurely ended after a spilling of the ball.

Bedford's scrum continued to falter but deft hands from Kerr and strong running from replacement Josh Buggea started another attack, which ended in a kick for the corner after Carnegie infringed. Good pressure and composure eventually saw Jake Sharp, who had just come on for Hakalo, cross for a try but Kerr missed the conversion right in front of the posts.

Bedford should have had another try after Staff broke through the defensive line, but the ball could only be thrown into touch with the tryline wide open and begging to be crossed with just ten seconds of play left.

Blues host Cornish Pirates in their next match on Friday March 20 and one would think that they should use the weekend off to practice their attacking and tackling, which at the end of the day is what let them down.

The result drops Bedford to ninth, with Yorkshire moving up three places to sixth.

Next Home Match

Saturday 27th October
1st XV Championship
Goldington Road



See more pictures courtesy of Nigel Rudgard at