Bedford Blues 18/2/23

42Bedford Blues

42Doncaster Knights

3:00 pm · February 18, 2023

Turbulent Afternoon at Goldington Road Ends in Draw to Keep Cup Hopes Alive

Doncaster Knights certainly didn’t make things easy for themselves but a 42-42 draw at Goldington Road this afternoon is enough to keep their Championship Cup hopes alive as they secure a play-off berth.

The opening chunk of the game assuredly belonged to the hosts, Bedford Blues. Eight minutes in, the man wearing a blue number eight was scoring. Using the width of the field well, George Hendy slipped through a gap into the Knights 22. He then managed to get a one-handed offload away to Tui Uru for the score. Will Maisey then opened his cleansheet at the posts for the day.

Bedford’s second – not completely dissimilar to the phases which led up to their first – was produced by Uru who, upon making the original break, offloaded to Joey Conway to complete the score.

The Knights were next on the board with their opening try of the day. A chip across field in the Blues’ 22 found John Kelly on the wing. The big man brushed off his would-be tackler to thump over for the score. Alex Dolly then slotted his first of the day – he would also maintain a cleansheet at the tee.

Bedford’s third came courtesy of Uru once again. The Knights competed in the air at a lineout 10m from their own line. Prepping for the driving maul, they were unaware of Uru sneaking to the front of the set piece to crash over for the score.

The bonus point was secure for the hosts on 32 minutes played. Hendy found Matt Worley with a quick combination on the wing, and his winger flicked inside to Jac Arthur to finish off the score.

Momentum swung in the Knights favour as the half drew to a close. Bedford lost a man as Charles Rylands was sent to the sin bin for tripping Maliq Holden late when he put a grubber kick through for Robbie Smith.

The Knights immediately capitalised with a try. Once again, the driving maul came through for the Donny men as it rumbled it’s way over with Sam Olver actually the man in charge of the ball at the base.

It took 8 minutes of the second half for the Knights to cross the whitewash for their third. A great first carry from Rhys Tait saw him charge into the Blues’ 22. A cheeky pass from Dolly to Olver found the fly-half as he ran a smooth line straight through the defence for the score.

A minute shy of the hour mark, the Knights had a try bonus point of their own. Bedford took their lineout and went to chip downfield but Olver charged it down. Tait was straight onto it on the floor and the replacement back-rower stretched his legs to run it home for the try.

Bedford pulled two tries ahead, however, making the Knights sweat the possibility of an unfavourable result. Their first saw good recycling producing a man overlap on the edge for Worley to make the most of while the second was produced by short phases on the line which battered the Donny defence long enough for Luke Frost to find air to drag a hand out to place the ball down.

The closing 10 minutes was hectic, but worthwhile for the travelling Donny men. Finding themselves back in the opposition 22, they were once more going for their trusty driving maul try before repeated infringements from Bedford forced the referee into awarding a penalty try as well as a yellow card for Monty Royston.

As the clock ticked into the red, the final try came. Dolly went by himself from the base of a ruck when suddenly Tait emerged from the breakdown of his scrum-half’s carry running away with the ball in hand before Bedford even knew he had it to score underneath the posts. With Dolly’s conversion, the day was done on a 42-42 scoreline.

With this draw, and the try bonus-point, the Knights have enough points to progress into the Championship Cup semi-final stages alongside Cornish Pirates, Ealing Trailfinders and Jersey Reds.

Match Statistics

Bedford XV | 15 George Hendy; 14 Matt Worley, 13 Tom Litchfield, 12 Michael Le Bourgeois, 11 Sean French; 10 Will Maisey, 9 Alex Day; 1 Joey Conway, 2 Jack Hughes, 3 Ehren Painter, 4 Robin Williams, 5 Luke Frost, 6 Jac Arthur, 7 Charles Rylands, 8 Tui Uru.

Replacements | 16 Aston Gradwick-Light, 17 Monty Royston, 18 Corrie Barrett, 19 Emeka Atuanya, 20 Kayde Sylvester, 21 Jake Garside, 22 Louis Grimoldby, 23 Jamie Elliott.

Tries: Uru 2, Conway, Arthur, Worley, Frost

Cons: Maisey 4, Grimoldby 2

Yellow card: Charles Rylands, Monty Royston


Starting XV | 15 Billy McBryde; 14 Robbie Smith, 13 Joe Margetts, 12 Connor Edwards, 11 Maliq Holden; 10 Sam Olver, 9 Alex Dolly; 1 Jake Pope, 2 George Edgson, 3 Bobby Bratton, 4 John Kelly, 5 Max Williamson, 6 Adam Hopkinson, 7 Martin SIgren, 8 Sam Hudson.

Replacements | 16 Will Holling, 17 James Wayland, 18 Karl Garside, 19 Ehize Ehizode, 20 Rhys Tait, 21 Will Yarnell, 22 Alec Lloyd-Seed, 23 Jared Cardew.

Tries: Kelly, Olver 2, Tait 2, Penalty try

Cons: Dolly 5


Referee: Simon Harding

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