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Captain: Werner Swanepoel

Bedford V Worcester 20 Sept 03
Crowd : 2000

Kick-Off

15:00
Weather : Very Hot & Sunny Referee Mr Goodliffe (4)
Ground : Great Condition Half Time Score 13 : 14
Wind : None Full Time Score 20 : 31
Food : Excellent Man Of Match Gavin Pfister (again)
Beer : Diet Coke Scores 4 Trys, 4 Con, 1 Pen
2003-2004 2004 - 2005 2005 - 2006 2006 - 2007 2007 - 2008 2008 - 2009 2009 - 2010

Rate=Rating,   Try=Tries,    Pen=Penalties,    Con=Conversions,    DG-Drop Goals

Rate Try Pen Con DG Rate Try Pen Con DG Rate Try Pen Con DG
Duncan Roke 6 . . . .   5 . . . . Tommy Hayes 5 . 1 1 .
Darren O'Leary 7 1 . . .   4 . . . . Matt Powell 6 . . . .
Gary Trueman 7 1 . . .   6 . . . . Adrian Olver 5 . . . .
Duncan Murray 6 1 . . .   7 . . . . Lee Fortey 6 1 . . .
Chris Garrard 7 . . . .   5 . . . . Chris Hall 4 . . . .
James Brown 7 . . 3 .   8 . . . . Mat Evans . . . . .
Werner Swanepoel 5 . . . .   7 . . . . Drew Hickey 6 . . . .
. . . . . .   5 . . . . . . . . . .
       
   
Out Come The Warriors Nice Little Bibs You've Got there Boys   OK Guys Are You Ready

Both teams were on the field after the half hour's warm up and I can assure you just walking on the pitch was a warm up session it was very hot out there. It was about to get even hotter, for some it was really under the collar.

Bedford got the game underway with there No5 in front as he was on every kick-off. The referee missed this part of the game every time

Last week Bedford had been narrowly beaten by Wakefield who in themselves were beaten on the first game of the season at Orrell by 55 points. On paper this would seem a fairly comfortable game. Come reality, no good team loses 2 games on the row, it was at home against the division's "favourite" team and to concentrate the mind even more it was also Bedford's Ex Players Re-Union Dinner. As we had been informed at the dinner they always seem to pull out a great performance in front of the Ex-Players. Would this be the case?

From the kick-off, which once again was not fielded by the Worcester pack, Bedford attacked, laying down the gauntlet. They attacked with speed and guile, but once again the defence was upto it, just!

Again and again Bedford attacked! They looked sharper, faster to the breakdown, making the Warriors look more like the underdogs than potential divisional champions.

Bedford were by far the better side, getting to the rucks much faster than the vaunted, fit Warriors pack, which was actually fielding 2 openside wing forwards. You would have clearly expected Worcester to be first at the breakdown more times than not. well sad to say they were not. They looked sluggish and once again for the second time, away game blues looked about to strike again

However, let's not get over critical here, Bedford are a good side, were tipped to be in the top 4 this year. This first 10 minutes was always going to be about attacking the Warriors line. From previous games this has shown to be our most vulnerable time.

Yet once again we defended very well indeed. Bedford were forced to play phase after phase gaining no more ground once they had got near to the Worcester 22. A lesser side would clearly have run out of attacking options, Bedford attacked through their forwards, their mid-field, their wings, but to no avail. The warriors kept their defensive line and stopped all attacks, not always pretty but effective. Bedford could not break through.

The home crowd were baying for points. It really did seem like when not if the line would crack.

These attacks went on none stop for 4 minutes, was it possible to keep this up in these temperatures.

Now, what marks a good team is to soak up the attacks, then, when the chance for a counter appears it must be taken. That is what happened.

The Bedford "attack" was under pressure mistakes were appearing and finally it happened, Daren O'Leary managed to get the ball, saw the gap and he was away up-field. with everyone in attack it looked a long run but he was going to score. The Bedford winger and fullback raced back and were overhauling him......!

This was where his skill really showed. he knew he was not going to make it, he committed the Bedford cover to take him on, knowing that Gary Trueman was coming up fast. he then slipped a peach of a pass to Gary who was through and unstoppable all the way to the posts. Once again after 4 minutes of defending, just 20 seconds of attack and it was Bedford 0 : 7 Warriors
With that score on the board it looked like we had finally woken up, we attacked down the left and a deft kick from Smiley nearly put us in for the second try within a minute.

But Bedford held out and once again came on the attack at a frantic rate

It was all Bedford, showing composure on the ball, mixed with the ability to retain and recycle good fast ball out to players more than willing to run at the Worcester players, taking them on and making ground. But not breaking through!

We were seeing early evidence of where we to have serious problems throughout the game, the line-Out.

It was desperate, the throwing was miserable, the catching awful and the timing would bring pleasure to an old Timex, being correct only when it stopped

It was not all doom and gloom, we did put some sporadic attacks together, but it was never sustained. The ball from the rucks was slow and misdirected often a change of mind at the point of passing, putting the whole team flat footed and going no-where.

This team has a lot to do to reach the heights of last year's continuity of play, WHY??

The Bedford backs now for some unknown reason lost it big style.

 They had some lovely play destroying the Worcester defence, it was stretched to breaking point on three separate occasions, the line started to leak as Bedford stormed through. What did they do, well they froze no other words for it. If you could take the worst possible options at key moments Bedford did exactly that. At one stage there was a 7 man overlap on the right, with the cover defence straining to get there, what happened they cut back inside and were snaffled up by the ever present Gavin Pfister, without Gavin we would have been in real trouble the whole game. Once again he was setting the standard for another man Of the match award

Just look at these faces, full of concern, no shouting or cheering just holding their breath that Worcester were going to drag themselves into the game and show some division winning style.

But it came, thank heavens. Once again Bedford on the attack lost the ball, as before the Warriors attacked with flair,  speed and a keen cutting edge. Some fabulous fast hands, changes of direction saw Gary Trueman make the break through and Duncan "RED" Murray power his was over the line. The try being converted by last years Mr Dead-Eye James Brown, Taking the score after 11 mins: Bedford 0 : 14 The Warriors

  A very, very anxious group of Warriors supporters
It was brilliant stuff and exactly what is needed when your team is not playing well. To hold back a team absorb the attacks and apply the killer blows, shows the mark of a good side with  the ability to strike and win games. But and it is a big but if these forwards do not show the commitment and organisation they showed against Orrell we will have trouble against Exeter, Bees and Coventry. They are capable but my oh my have they have got to be prepared to do it every game.

Finally and well deserved the Bedford backs broke through and scored a good try. They had threatened to score for some time, they were running the show with some great lines, opening up the door and slicing through

Bedford 7 : 14 Warriors

Some of the rucking was fierce but quite legal if he is interfering with release then he can be rucked out of the way as seen here on the left. It is a pity the touch judge did not see it that way later on in the game when Dean Thomas did exactly the same thing.
    There was some good passages of play from both teams, however both were making elementary errors Worcester predominantly at the line and service to James Brown, Bedford the final attacking option was invariable disastrous. With Bedford on the attack Worcester infringed and gave away a very kickable penalty

Bedford 10 : 14 Worcester

It was not only Worcester who struggled with the line throw The Bedford backs gave a lesson in attacking movement and construction, they just did not have the confidence and pace to finish of the plethora of well executed moves  
On and On they came, wave after wave the Bedford forwards were now in total control of the game, better organised and capable of ball retention well above the level of play from The Warriors pack.

It was only solid defence from backs and forwards which stopped a flood of points. Bedford seemed to have an extra man everywhere on the field, it was only going to be time before they scored again.

When stretched the way Worcester were something was going to give or another penalty conceded, it was the later and Bedford duly converted to close the first half; Bedford 13 : 14 Warriors

SECOND HALF, CLICK HERE