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Bedford Blues 14 Cardiff Blues 39

Blues News | 14th September 2019


Cardiff Blues warmed up for the Guinness PRO14 season with a seven-try victory over Bedford Blues at Goldington Road.

Wales’ Capital Region got off to a flying start against Mike Rayer’s Championship outfit and led 19-0 after just 13 minutes thanks to tries from Jason Harries, Lewis Jones and Kirby Myhill.

They had to work much harder in the remainder of the encounter, as the hosts settled, but John Mulvihill’s men never looked in doubt during the pre-season friendly billed the Battle of the Blues.

Alun Lawrence and Will Boyde added further first-half scores, thanks to a dominant set-piece that saw Cardiff Blues lead 29-0 at the break.

The second-half was a much closer affair with Harries grabbing a second and Jamie Hill and Ioan Davies combining to put their side in seven heaven, while Bedford claimed two of their own.

The Blues now have a two-week build-up to their PRO14 season opener against Isuzu Southern Kings in Port Elizabeth.

Cardiff Blues kicked-off at Goldington Road and it did not take them long to claim the opening score.

Despite being penalised in the Bedford 22, they managed to pinch the ensuing lineout and went straight back on the attack from deep inside their own half. They made good yards down the left through Garyn Smith and Harries before the ball was recycled.

Tovey then sliced through the home defence and two phases later, Bedford had run out of defenders as the ball was moved back to the left for Harries to finish in the corner.

The fly-half was unable to add the extras as he struck the left upright from the touchline, but it was not long until he was back at the tee to make amends.

With Bedford on the attack, Ioan Davies intercepted and tore down the right wing before stepping inside Rich Lane and offloading to Jones, who raced clear.

This time Tovey was on target and the one-way traffic continued as Wales’ Capital Region claimed a third try inside 15 minutes.

Following a sustained period of pressure, with Bedford Blues giving away numerous penalties, Cardiff Blues went to the corner and showed great patience and discipline to rumble over with Myhill dotting down.

Tovey added the extras to give Mulvihill’s men a 19-0 lead but from here in Bedford clawed their way back into the contest. While they were unable to get on the scoreboard, they ensured Cardiff Blues had to work much harder for any points.

It took the Blues more than 20 minutes to claim their next score with Nick Williams losing possession close to the whitewash and Harries unable to collect a beautifully-weighted Garyn Smith cross-kick to the corner.

However, there was no mistake from the ensuing scrum, as the pack flexed their muscle and Alun Lawrence, on for Williams in a pre-arranged substitution, the beneficiary.

Bedford enjoyed their first real period of pressure after Lewis Jones was charged down at the base of a ruck but they were unable to create a scoring opportunity and Davies, making his senior debut, intercepted and cleared the ball into the Bedford 22.

Cardiff Blues then finished the half as they started, and Will Boyde claimed his side’s fifth try as they drove over from a well-organised driving lineout.

Mulvihill introduced experienced quartet Rhys Gill, Kristian Dacey, Josh Turnbull and Olly Robinson at the break and the Blues returned with a willingness to attack from all areas.

It did not take them long to score their sixth try of the afternoon with Dacey putting his side on the front-foot after hitting a Tovey flat-pass. They maintained possession and stretched the hosts from left to right and back again before Halaholo sent Harries over for his second.

With Tovey receiving treatment, Jones lined-up the touchline conversion but despite his clean strike from the left his effort dropped agonisingly short.

As the hour mark approached, Bedford claimed their first points of the afternoon. They had enjoyed a promising period of pressure as the game opened up and following a scrum in midfield, Jordan Onojaifepowered over withSam Leeming splitting the sticks.

 

Bedford claimed a second try with Joe Wrafter bundling through several defenders but Cardiff Blues had the last word with Hill sniping off the back of a scrum to put impressive Davies away.