Bedford Blues – 28/11/2014

15Bedford Blues

17Doncaster Knights

2:00 pm · November 28, 2014

Bedford Blues 15 Knights 17

The Knights made the journey to Goldington Road for round four of the British and Irish Cup boasting a perfect fifteen points from the three previous games. Unfortunately since 36-20 victory in the reverse fixture at Castle Park in October the Knights had slumped to three successive defeats and needed a win to end a disappointing November on a high.

In the week Clive Griffiths had announced three new signings and two of the trio were included in the match day twenty-two as hooker Villiame Veikoso and fly half Francis Piers both started on the bench. Elsewhere the Knights had been boosted by the return of the Tomasi Palu and Jon Phelan from international duty; both were thrust back in the starting XV.

Bedford entered the fixture on the back of a 65-14 humbling again fellow Pool 4 side Cornish Pirates and had a much adjusted squad that included Saracens and England Sevens centre Mike Ellery.

Doncaster made a bright start to the encounter and had registered their first points with slightly more than a minute on the clock. Having secured solid line out ball they set up a well organized diving maul that the Blues illegally stopped just outside their own 22m. Dougie Flockhart rarely misses from such distances and that continued to be the case as he comfortably opened the Knights account.

The Goldington Road playing surface is well known within the Championship for it’s infamous slope and the Knights played the first half down hill. They often looked to take advantage of the decline with rangey downfield kicks and with a degree of success. Despite this it was the Blues who created the second genuinely threatening opportunity. A penalty for an off the ball contact on James Pritchard was kicked to the corner and the Blues looked to attack sharply. Solid defensive work from the Knights forced a knock on and Paul Roberts was able to clear to about half way.

The Knights set piece looked solid throughout the first half, particularly the scrum and it was from scrums that Doncaster were able to register the game’s first try. A solid drive in midfield provided a platform for Paul Roberts to execute a well-measured cross-field kick that was collected by Tyson Lewis. The scrambling home defences were able to catch Tyson but the Knights were awarded a penalty shortly after. This was to be the first of six successive penalties to the Knights in a period that saw home skipper Paul Tupai sin binned and the Knight awarded a penalty try after some fine work at the scrum. Flockhart slotted the extras and the Knights lead by ten points with just over quarter of an hour played.

A good response by the Blues seemed to have produced a score through prop forward Camilo Parilli-Ocampo. Having kicked a penalty to the corner the home side moved the ball quickly and the tight head looked to have barged over. He was unable to keep control of the ball and the Knights were arwarded a scrum but a lapse in concentration saw them engage early gifting Bedford a free kick. Another knock on killed the attack but the Blues were playing with much improvement.

A hurried clearance under pressure from Paul Roberts gave the hosts a line out deep in the Donny 22m. After a powerful driving maul, number eight Hayden Thompson-Stringer barged over to score for the Blues. James Pritchard was unable to add the extras. 5-10.

Both teams created half chances but errors prevented any real scoring threat and the teams went in to the break with the Knights leading by a score.

The Knights were up against the slope in the second period but made a good start and soon extended their lead. A Tomasi Palu break upfield created good momentum but in the following phase Richard List was unable to hold on to the ball but the Knights continued to press. Following a scrum in midfield a looped pass from Roberts was allowed to bounce before Jarvis expertly collected and set off. The full back put his foot down and beat all before him to touch down in the corner. A sensational conversion from Dougie made the score 5-17, a deficit Bedford would never recover from though they did not give up.

Having made wholesale changes in the front row the home side began to compete far better in the scrums and won a scrum penalty of their own shortly before the hour mark. Pritchard, who’s kicking had been far from perfect, was on target with the effort and successfully added the three.

As the game entered it’s final fifteen minutes Bedford began to play some really good rugby and spun together waves and attacking phases. One man who looked a threat every time he touch the ball was Pat Tapley, on one surge forward he was met by a thunderous hit from Tomasi Palu who was, rather harshly, shown a yellow card for the tackle. The scrum half judged not to have used his arms in the contact

With a man advantage the blues soon registered their second score of the evening. With numbers outside him and space to run at centre Henry Staff was able to get around Bevon Armitage and touch down to set up a nervy final ten minutes. Pritchard’s conversion crept over to make the score’s 15-17.

The home side created a handful of chances in the closing stages but were ultimately unable to break the Knights defence meaning the team returned to Castle Park with their 100% percent cup run still intact and top of pool 4.

Match Statistics

Blues XV

15) James Pritchard, 14) Pat Tapley, 13) Henry Staff, 12) Viliami Hakalo (Jake Sharp 22’), 11) Mike Ellery, 10) Nils Mordt (Peter White 69’), 9) Darryl Veenendaal, 1) Tom Williams (Johnny Harris 50’). 2) TJ Harris (Charlie Clare 50’), 3) Camilo Parilli-Ocampo (James Currie 40’), 4) Harry Wells, 5) Ben Gulliver, 6) Paul Tupai, 7) Justin Blanchet, 8) Hayden Thompson-Stringer


16) Charlie Clare, 17) Johnny Harris, 18) James Currie, 19) Mike Howard, 20) Josh Buggea, 21) Peter White, 22) Jake Sharp

Tries; Thompson-Stringer 29’, Staff 67’

Conv; Pritchard 67’

Pens; Pritchard 58’

Knights XV

15) Paul Jarvis, 14) Dougie Flockhart, 13) George Catchpole, 12) Bevon Armitage, 11) Tyson Lewis, 10) Paul Roberts, 9) Tomasi Palu (Bruno Bravo 78’), 1) Richard List (Jack Bergmanas 75’), 2 Ben Hunter (Villiame Veikoso 78’), 3) Tiziano Pasquali (Colin Quigley 58’), 4) Matt Challinor, 5) Jon Phelan, 6) Will Foden (Phil Eggleshaw 60’), 7) Michael Hills ©, 8) Alex Shaw


16) Colin Quigley, 17) Jack Bergmanas, 18 Phil Eggleshaw, 19) Latu Makaafi, 20) Villiame Veikoso, 21) Piers Francis, 22) Bruno Bravo.

Tries; Penalty 18, Jarvis 46’

Conv: Flockhart 18’, 47’

Pens: Flockhart 2’

Referee: Andrew Small

Attendance: 2,002

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