The season began with training games against Stowe. Bedford picked large squads to ensure everybody had some valuable game time before the season kicks off properly next weekend. This exercise also gave coaches the opportunity to set their plan for the season with regards to selection and areas to work on.
For many players the fixtures were about shaking off the rust that had been gathering since they last played on 06 December 2014, which happened to be Stowe. Most games were understandably scrappy in the early stages, however, there was some outstanding play at times from all levels. Moments of brilliance and a mouth-watering prospect of what the season will bring.
The U15s and U16s will probably be the happier of the age groups as they seemed to come out of their games having had most of the possession. They were successful in using the possession to apply pressure and managed to cross the try line on a number of occasions. They will also be pleased that their defences help pretty firm. Mr Beale wrote,
“The U15 second game season kicked off in fine style today – in a match where the Cs and Ds were allocated 30mins each against the Stowe C squad – with forwards providing quick clean ball for the backs, whilst driving hard to test the defence of the opposition. The backs in turn showed rapidly improving handling, impressive tactical kicking skills and often exceptional strength and speed. Spinning the ball out wide was the rule, allowing Ify Emmanuel-Odiachi to blitz past (and often directly through) the opposition, scoring five tries for the Cs.”
Mr Gracie wrote:
"The U15A put in a pleasing performance that showed more shape, energy and skill than last season; a result of their hard work and commitment to attending extra sessions out of season last year. The first 3rd saw us dominate by exploiting wide spaces at pace and handling impressively. The defensive connections were a little loose at times, as were the A/B defenders but these tightened up in the second and third 3rds. A special note for Eli Cooke whose commitment, physicality and energy throughout the game were very impressive and exemplified what we will need this season. He also showed an impressive improvement in his skill levels from last year."
The 3rd XV showed promise for a successful season, they were always threatening in attack and have the ability to go from anywhere on the pitch. They should take confidence from this performance and must carry the momentum into Saturday's game.
The 1st XV took a very large squad to Stowe and played some great rugby at times. They have the making of an excellent team but will want to cut down the error count on Saturday if they are to live up to their promise.
All U14s had trial matches this week and will have another opportunity to impress the coaches in the house matches on Saturday. All coaches so far have spoken very positively about the standard and attitude of the U14s, which bodes well for the season.