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Home > News > Bedford Blues 31 - Doncaster Knights 33
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Your News Bedford Blues 31 - Doncaster Knights 33

In winning away at Goldington Road, the Knights proved yet again that, on their day, they are capable of beating every team in the Championship and, in scoring five tries to four, they gained sweet revenge for their last minute defeat against Bedford last Saturday at Castle Park. However, less anyone should think that, with nine tries, defences were somewhat porous they should think again as most came from good, crafted moves. And, furthermore, if anyone should doubt Doncaster’s commitment to the cause, they only had to see the way that bodies were put on the line in the final couple of minutes as Bedford threw everything at them, to totally rebut that thought!

Doncaster’s Director of Rugby Lynn Howells had little problem with selection for this week’s game not only due to the injury crisis within his team but, to a man, the team were desperate to avenge last week’s defeat. In the end, there was only one change in the Knight’s starting line up with, fit again Scottish “A” hooker Steve Lawrie coming in on rotation in place of Steve Boden.

The Knights played up the infamous Goldington Road slope and into the breeze in the first half and went behind after only 6 minutes when, after a period of sustained pressure, Blues’ full back Edd Thrower went over in the corner for a try that was converted by Canadian international James Pritchard. After 14 minutes, the Knights were struck a blow when the last talismanic lock Glen Kenworthy with a leg injury. After 18 minutes, Bedford recovered a loose ball in midfield and quick passing to the left outflanked the Knights cover to allow centre Tom Bedford to crash over wide out for a try that Pritchard again converted. The Knights did not panic however and they fought their way into the Blues half through their increasingly powerful pack and, after putting Bedford under intense pressure on their own line, hooker Lawrie drove over for a try that fly half Tristan Roberts converted. Unfortunately, in the final build up to this try, Knight’s scrum half Nathan Jones was injured and had to be stretchered off although later diagnosis was not as serious as first feared. After 33 minutes, Knights flanker Neil Cochrane was yellow carded on his own line and, almost immediately, Bedford No 8 Chris Goodman crashed over from close in for a try that Pritchard converted. Still the Knights fought back and, although a man down, were awarded a scrum just inside the Bedford half. Although their scrum was wheeled, Knight’s No 8 Ed Jackson managed to pick up and make ground before linking up with replacement scrum half Craig Hampson who reached the Blues 22 before giving a precision pass to supporting full back Steve McColl for a classic training ground try that was converted by Roberts.

Turning around 21 points to 14 in arrear and with youngster Dom Parsons on at lock in place of the injured Matt Challinor and still without Cochrane, the Knights went further behind after only 2 minutes. They withstood the first waves of Bedford attacks but eventually conceded a try when Pritchard made ground before his delicate kick ahead evade the Knight’s cover and bounced into the arms of centre Miles Dorian who ran 5 metres to score his side’s bonus point try that Pritchard converted. Still the Knights were not to be outdone and, now back at full strength, they proceeded to do a dismantling job on the Blues’ pack. From a line out they threw wave after wave of attacks at the Bedford defence before centre Andy Wright stepped inside four defenders before linking up with supporting prop Dan Frazier who scored a try between the posts to give Roberts an easy conversion. Now it was all Doncaster but Bedford held out for the next 20 minutes before replacement centre Chris Briers scored the Knight’s bonus point try with his first touch after his pack had taken him into a scoring position. Although Roberts missed the conversion this try took the Knights to within 2 points but the Blues extended their lead with a Pritchard penalty a couple of minutes later. With less than 10 minutes left, the Knights won a line out 5 metres out and they drove over for a try that was credited to Parsons. Robert’s conversion put the Knights into the lead for the first time and they were in no mood to be robbed at the end as they had last week. The Knights had one further opportunity to score when winger Matt Williams broke away on the halfway line but the Bedford cover just managed to get to him and his offload in the tackle as he gave a “scoring pass” to the supporting Wright was adjudged to be just forward. The Knight’s defence was awesome during this closing period as the Blues did everything to get back into the lead and, when the final whistle went, it was Bedford’s turn to feel the exasperation that Doncaster had last weekend .

The Knight’s win opens up the Group B play off race with only next week’s opponents Rotherham being totally out of the reckoning. As everyone knows however the Titans will be desperate to beat the Knights, if only to restore some pride in the battle for South Yorkshire bragging rights. With Bedford not relishing their trip to Cornish Pirates, the battle for a semi-final place in Group B is wide open with this Saturday’s visit to Clifton Lane being a massive game for Doncaster.

Bedford Blues: Thrower (Schmidt 71), Taylor, Dorrian, Bedford, Pritchard, Sharp (Vass 53), Chudley (Veenendaal 57), Walsh (Boulton 71), Richmond (Locke 65), Boulton (Seal 51), Howard, Tupai (Kruis 62), Gillanders, Goodman, Lewitt (Rae 48)

Doncaster Knights: McColl, Flockhart, Goss (Briers 64), Wright, Williams, Roberts, Jones (Hampson 26), Frazier, Lawrie (Boden 62), Thiede (Quigley 64), Challinor (Parsons 41), Kenworthy (Craig 14), Makaafi (Farivarz 56), Jackson (Makaafi 73), Cochrane

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