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Bedford Blues Preview – 3pm Kick Off

Bedford Blues Preview – 3pm Kick Off

London Scottish makes the relatively short journey this coming weekend to take on the Bedford Blues at Goldington Road. The match will be a very tough fixture for Scottish, but one that the team can go into with confidence based on their recent performances over the last month. Scottish will face a Bedford side which has recently stuttered over the last month and lost out to Doncaster Knights last weekend 33- 12 and will be themselves looking to bounce back.

London Scottish makes the relatively short journey this coming weekend to take on the Bedford Blues at Goldington Road. The match will be a very tough fixture for Scottish, but one that the team can go into with confidence based on their recent performances over the last month. Scottish will face a Bedford side which has recently stuttered over the last month and lost out to Doncaster Knights last weekend 33- 12 and will be themselves looking to bounce back.

After recording a narrow home victory against fellow relegation pool threatened Plymouth Albion last weekend, Scottish now move onto the next Championship challenge with a tasty fixture away at the Bedford Blues. Any fixture against the Blues will always be one which the Scottish supporters can look forward to as the clubs over the years have developed a close rivalry, minus the years that Scottish has been climbing the league structure back to the Championship level. For Scottish, Bedford is one of those clubs in the Championship who they can aspire to, as it has become a club clearly challenging for the top honours and have maintained a position close to the top of the league table.

MPU

This season Bedford started very well, winning their first three league fixtures of the campaign and it looked as if they would carry on from their successful previous season. This was followed up by two defeats on the trot against Rotherham and Bristol. For the remainder of the season the Blues have maintained on the whole a good winning ratio, however over the last month they have narrowly recorded a 25 – 24 loss away at our fellow exiles London Welsh and the followed this up a week later defeating Rotherham 24 – 23. The inconstant form continued when the Blues overwhelmed the Cornish Pirates 32 -13 at Goldington Road in front a crowd of over 4000 on New Year’s Day, but yet again followed this up with the loss to Doncaster Knights last weekend. Such is the competitive nature of the Championship.

In the reverse fixture at Richmond, the Blues comprehensively defeated Scottish in what to date has been Scottish’s heaviest defeat at home in the Championship this season. The Blues were able to capitalise on numerous unforced errors by Scottish and although having parity in possession and territory, the final score did not reflecting this. Also in the reverse fixture our two Argentinean international players were making their debut and since then, together with the other new players at Scottish the team will certainly be looking to turn over Bedford on their home turf. On the personnel front, Scottish can look forward to a number of new faces in the Bedford line up if their squad selection for the Doncaster Knights is any pointer. It is the back row forwards where there could well be changes. Sacha Harding who scored two try’s against Scottish at Richmond did not feature in the loss at Doncaster and could well be missing again on Saturday. In the fly half role the Blues Head Coach Mike Rayner has been rotating Jake Sharp one of the dual-registered Saracens players at the club with the former London Irish player Jamie Lennard.

Given the short journey to Bedford for Scottish supporters it is anticipated that there will be a large turnout and this will be greatly appreciated by the team. There are various options for supporters making the trip on Saturday and for those travelling by car they should enter the post code MK40 3NF into their SatNavs which will take you to Goldington Road.

Please note that the Blues ground is in a residential area and there is no car parking at the ground. In addition, there are parking restrictions in and around the ground, so be careful where you park. For our non techies they should take the M1 until junction 13 following the signs for Bedford and then take the A421. After 7.5 miles turn left into Woburn Road and then after approximately 500 yards turn left onto the A 5134. At the roundabout take the second exit Bedford Rd (B 531) for approximately another mile. Continue into Kempston Street for just under half a mile followed by Cauldwell Street. At the roundabout take the first exit A5141 for half a mile and then take the fourth exit, Midland Road turning after 300 yards into Greyfriars (A6). Continue on the A6 for approximately half a mile turning into Saint Peter’s Street again turning into Kimbolton Road, eventually turning right into Goldington Road.

For those travelling by train they should catch a train from St Pancaras, with the journey to Bedford taking approximately 40 minutes to one hour, dependant on which train you catch. Alternatively, you can book a place on the supporters coach, however the coach is filling up rapidly and there are only limited places available. Please contact John Hewitt at HewJo@aol.com to reserve your seat.

The match on Saturday will no doubt be a very challenging and physical encounter. Scottish over the last four matches has developed that winning mentality and will go into this match determined to maintain this good form. It is clear that the new players are now bedding into the side and have brought that desire and passion to perform at the highest levels with them. Not only that, it is also bringing out the best of the younger players in the squad who are benefiting greatly from this experience. Looking forward to great match in prospect and make sure you get to Bedford to cheer on the team. Enjoy the match and see you all there. C’mon Scottish.
 

Bedford Blues 43 – 10 London Scottish

Bedford Blues 43 – 10 London Scottish

On a sunny, but crisp day at Goldington Road London Scottish were blown away in the first half of this match as Bedford ran in 4 tries, with Scottish being reduced to 13 players in the closing stages of the half. Scottish raised their game in the second half, but could not prevent the Blues running in three further tries.

On a sunny, but crisp day at Goldington Road London Scottish were blown away in the first half of this match as Bedford ran in 4 tries, with Scottish being reduced to 13 players in the closing stages of the half. Scottish raised their game in the second half, but could not prevent the Blues running in three further tries.

 

MPU

London Scottish again rang the changes in their starting lineup, with Ben McDougall returning to the centres and Sean Morris an Oxford Blue making his debut on the wing.  Alfredo Lalanne returned to the scrum half role in place of Scottish’s Head Coach Simon Amor.  In the forwards, prop Anthony Kent and the second row duo of Ben Thomas and Karl Rudzki all took their places in the starting fifteen.  Bedford kicked off playing down the slope at the Goldington Road ground.

On the 4th minute Scottish opened the scoring after the backs took play from deep in their 22 metre area, running the ball out through hands.  They took the play into the Bedford half and when the Blues fly half Jake Sharp knocked the ball on.  At the subsequent scrum the Blues were penalised for deliberately collapsing, with fly half Dan Mugford converting to put Scottish ahead 0 -3.  The lead did not last long as the home side hit back immediately when the Blues winger and leading try scorer in the Championship, Josh Bassett scored in the corner after the Bedford backs moved the ball out onto the wing.  Full back James Pritchard missed with his conversion attempt.  

The Blues increased their lead further on the 10 minute mark when Sharp scythed through the Scottish backline.  He side stepped in, to score 15 metres in from the touch line.  Pritchard again missed with his conversion attempt.  Bedford was now clearly in the driving seat and Scottish was playing the game on the back foot.  The home side scored their third try of the match which was the best of Bassett’s hat trickin the match, when the Blues backs again cut through the Scottish defence with some slick passing and created the opportunity made by scrum half Stefan Liebenberg’s half break.  Bassett touched down to the left of the posts.  Pritchard converted his third attempt of the match to put Bedford up 17 -3.

The Scottish cause was further dented on the half hour mark when Mugford went off to be replaced by James Brown.  The subsequent reshuffle in the backs appeared to disrupt the Scottish play and there then ensued a sustained period of pressure on the Scottish try line.  The home side’s forwards took a series of rolling mauls towards the Scottish try line and referee Daryl Gamage finally yellow carded second row Ben Thomas for not rolling away at the ruck.  Reduced to fourteen players the Scottish forwards dug in and repelled another series of attacking mauls on their, however the referee again yellow carded flanker Ben Lonergan.  Being down to thirteen players it was only a matter of time before Bedford would score their bonus point fourth try and it came shortly before the half time whistle when the Blues number eight Don Barrell drove over after another period of sustained pressure on the Scottish line.  Pritchard converted to leave the half time score 24 – 6.

Although with reduced numbers starting the second half, Scottish immediately took the play to the home side in the opening stages of the second period.  This period of sustained pressure finally paid off on the 45th minute when centre Ryan Western scored to the right of the posts after an exchange of passes between himself and flanker Adam Kleeburger.  Brown converted to leave the score 24 – 10.  For the next 25 minutes of the match the play was evenly matched with neither side in the true ascendency, however the Blues finally put the match beyond doubt for the home side when replacement scrum half Darryl Veenendaal came off the back of a ruck to touch down out wide after a series of rolling mauls close to the Scottish line.  Pritchard missed the conversion attempt.  The Blues upped their game further and as the game was coming to its conclusion, Bassett scooped up a loose ball and raced away to score beneath the posts.  Pritchard added the extras to push the score out to 36 – 10.  The final score of the match came close to the final whistle, when Pritchard had been tackled on the Scottish try line and then offloaded to Veenendaal to score beneath the posts.  Pritchard again converted to leave the final score of 43 – 10.

No one can fault the effort and determination shown by the Scottish players in this game, but it was clear that the Bedford side were smarting from their unexpected loss away at Doncaster and they were very keen to eradicate the memory of this defeat.  For Scottish they can take many lessons from this game which will include the speed of offloading displayed by the Blues side in the tackle.  Another case of too many unforced errors by Scottish side, but this is something the coaching team will be working on in the coming weeks.  With next weekend being the first free weekend of the season for Championship sides, it will allow those on the Scottish injury list additional time to recover ahead of the next match at home against Nottingham on the 29th January.  Look out for the match preview for the Nottingham game, which will appear on the website soon.

Graham Howells selected Tom Standfield for the Jock Meikle sponsored away supporter’s man of the match award.

   

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