Hartpury University 19 – Bedford Blues 42

A clinical second half performance from the Bedford Blues was more than enough to see off a Hartpury team which fell short of the standards that they have set themselves so far this season.

Prop Ciaran Knight made an excellent contribution to Hartpury’s first try

Hartpury didn’t help themselves with their indiscipline, which saw them give up fully three times as many penalties as their opponents and which kept the visitors on the front foot for most of the second 40.

“It was great to see the way we fronted up after last week”, said Blues forwards coach, Sean McCarthy.

“Control was something we had spoken about in the week and half-backs gave us that in spades,” he said.

On dry afternoon neither side started the game well, as handling errors and inaccuracies plagued the opening phases.

It wasn’t until the 22nd minute that either side managed to break the deadlock and it came from a penalty kicked to touch by Will Maisey.  Tui Uru eventually drove over for the opening score.

Hartpury produced a perfect response almost straight away. Charlie Foley was able to put tight-head, Ciaran Knight, into a big gap and he made 25 metres before a sumptuous back-of-the-hand offload gave Robbie Smith an easy run-in. Things got even better for the Red & Blacks just two minutes later.

An attacking lineout, after a rare transgression from the Blues, was driven over by the home pack – Will Crane the scorer – and, despite a missed conversion, Hartpury were 12-7 to the good.

However, Blues continued to look the more composed of the two teams and it was no surprise when the visitors’ drive returned the favour in the 35th minute, Reece Marshall awarded the points.

Blues narrow half-time lead was not to last for long, as Crane bundled over for his second, but that was to be as good it got for the home team.

Bedford quickly restored the advantage when centre Ethan Grayson picked a great line to burst through the Hartpury midfield and leave himself with an open path to the try-line.

Five minutes later a clever kick behind the Hartpury three-quarters put it the ball on plate for winger Dean Adamson and, with Hartpury struggling to get any sort of foothold in the game, the stage was set for the visitors to drive home their advantage.

Replacement Jordan Onojaife crossed from close range, before Adamson picked up his second – again from a kick behind.  Maisey was 100% from the tee, converting all six Bedford tries. 

“It was a very disappointing performance after a good start to the season,” said Hartpury DoR, John Barnes.  “Too much indiscipline and too many individual errors – Bedford were able to dictate that game, particularly after half time.”

Hartpury now travel to highly placed-Jersey next weekend before another rest week. The next home fixture is with Doncaster Knights on Saturday, 20th November.

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