1st XV News

Bedford Blues will be without second row forward Paul Tupai for the games against Llanelli, Rotherham and Nottingham after he was banned for three weeks by the RFU for striking an opponent during the Greene King IPA Championship fixture against London Scottish on Wednesday 1st January.

Tupai appeared before a disciplinary panel on Tuesday evening along with London Scottish prop Eric Fry who faced a charge of making contact with Tupai’s eye ahead of the incident for which the former Samoan lock was red-carded.

If you weren’t one of the 2,555 who enjoyed the thrilling New Year’s day encounter between Bedford Blues and London Scottish then fear not – you can watch the entire game now… Just don’t blink.

The Blues won the game 21-13 in particularly cold, wet and windy conditions but Bedford production company AP Film and Music also attended the game and they have produced a time-lapse video showing all of the action from the day.

AP clamped their camera the club’s TV tower, pressed record at 1.30pm and stopped filming as the crowd began to head home.

As the fuzzy heads start to clear and we say a warm hello to 2014 it seems an appropriate time to take a look back at what has been a quite fantastic 12 months in the history of Bedford Blues Rugby Club.

No one will have any doubt about what the highlight of the year was when – after three times trying – we final got over the final hurdle to reach the Championship Final. Sadly, Newcastle proved too strong over the two legs but the town of Bedford was proud of what had been achieved by a close-knitted group of men who showed that the underdogs can always cause an upset.

Bedford Blues started 2014 in the best possible fashion with a 21-13 win over high-flying London Scottish at Goldington Road on New Year’s Day.

The weather may have suited ducks better but early tries from Mike Le Bourgeois and Nick Fenton-Wells helped Bedford establish a 15-3 half-time lead with James Pritchard – who, during the match, became the Blues all-time leading point scorer - kicking a conversion and a penalty to Lee Millar’s solitary penalty.

Bedford Blues fell foul of a second half Boxing Day rampage at Rotherham, a victory which lifted the home side into the number two spot on the Championship table. The Titans notched up four unanswered tries in the second period and ran out deserving winners 35-6, confirming their credentials as play-off challengers. Bedford seemed to confirm little other than their season continues to be as consistent as badly made Christmas gravy.

From the off, Rotherham’s intensity and appetite was obvious but Bedford played well with the fading December sun at their backs.

Bedford Blues final – and possibly crucial – British & Irish Cup tie against Rotherham Titans on Saturday 18th January will now kick off at 2pm.

With just two games remaining in the first stage of the competition, the Blues (11 points) and Rotherham (13 points) are jostling for the all-important top position in Pool Three although all four teams can still top the table and secure a quarter final place.

With the six pool winners going through to the final eight, the remaining places will be awarded to the top two runners up from all groups.

Bedford Blues did their bit for the fans to ensure that everyone has a very Merry Christmas by running in seven tries during a 50-12 rout over Connacht Eagles in the British & Irish Cup.

James Short and Nick Fenton-Wells both crossed the line twice while Corey Hircock, Charlie Clare and Patrick Tapley all scored with James Pritchard and Jake Sharp sharing kicking duties hitting eight and seven points respectively.

The performance was far different from last weekend when the Blues were guilty of leaving too many points out on the field, as they opened the scoring in the 2nd minute and secured the bonus point after 30.

Bedford Blues rugby captain James Pritchard was this week crowned Outstanding Achiever at the Bedford Sports Awards which were held on Monday December 9.

Hundreds of players and organisers from across a wealth of sports attended the prestigious event at Bedford Corn Exchange and Skippy picked up his award following an outstanding year which has seen him succeed in passing Gareth Rees’ total of 491 to become the leading point scorer in Canadian Rugby.

Dodgeball player Charlotte Porteous was named Adult Sports Personality of the Year.

Rayer rues missed chances as Blues suffer cup defeat at Connacht With Thanks to Bedfordshire on Sunday, Written byDAN PALMER

Bedford Blues Director of Rugby Mike Rayer was left to rue wasted opportunities as his side came away with nothing from today’s British & Irish Cup clash at Connacht Eagles.  The return fixture is this Saturday at Goldington Road with an EARLY 2pm Kick Off.

Rayer’s men made the journey across the Irish Sea to Galway but were beaten 17-8 and left without even a losing bonus point after a game they should have won.

Bedford Blues make the trip over to Ireland for this weekend's B&I Cup clash with Connaught knowing that continuity is key as they step into the unknown.

Following the Blues 28-26 win over Championship leaders London Welsh last weekend, Bedford make just two changes to the starting line-up with Darryl Veenendaal starting at scrum half and Phil Boulton coming into the front row.

There is also a place on the bench for Argentinian prop Tomas Gilardon Paz and young number 9 Ben Calder.

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