Rugby under floodlights can be great so let's hope the Blues and Scottish produce the goods at Goldington Road ..
We did well against another set of exiles last week but had to be content with a try bonus point - a similar number of scores would go down well this week.
There's a few encorced changes with George Perkins injured in Thursday's training session so Pat Tapley gets the start. Justin Blanchet is also carrying a knock with Mike Howard returning to the second row.
Blues: 15. Piers O’Conor 14. Pat Tapley 13. Michael LeBourgeois (capy) 12. Tom Griffiths 11. Dean Adamson 10. Myles Dorrian 9. Tom Whiteley 1. Jack Culverhouse 2. Jacob Fields 3. Christian Judge 4. Mike Howard 5. Will Carrick-Smith 6. Ed Taylor 7. Josh Buggea 8. Ben Adams
Reps: Dan George, Camilo Parilli-Ocampo, Byron Hodge, Paul Tupai, Jason Hill, Jordan Burns, Jake Sharp.
Scottish have lost a bit of form losing to Richmond last week and so make seven changes to their line-up.
London Scottish: 15 Peter Lydon 14 Ben Rath 13 Robbie Fergusson 12 Alec Coombes 11 Jason Harries 10 Harry Sheppard 9 Hugh Fraser 1 Grant Shiells 2 David Cherry 3 Dan Koroi 4 Rory Bartle 5 Neale Patrick 6 Ally Miller 7 Danny Kenny 8 Ifereimi Boladau
Reps: George Turner, Jonny Harris, Phil Cringle, Dom McGeekie, Matt Marley , Jamie Stevenson,Tom Galbraith
There are those who frequent this forum don't like ‘negative’ comments about the team and the club and others who tell us not to go in to ‘meltdown’ over the performances of the team………I will leave it to them to comment on tonight's game and offer us their plans for the future…
In following bedford for over thirty years I can honestly say I have never seen two worse performances at home than the last two games things seem to be going very well off the pitch but on it we are a shambles and will be lucky to avoid relegation. I never thought i would say it but mike needs to consider his position on his huge salary we should expect better than this. We have three months ahead of us and endless rolling malls that we can't defend or execute on a rumoured 80k package just not good enough
Possibly the worst game I've seen at Goldington Road. It's time to stop defending the person that watches the game form the balcony. He has to do the right thing and step down. We need to move on. That was rubbish at best.
So glad I had a prior engagement last night. It is starting to look as though our good performance last year was the aberration and our awful performance the two previous years the norm. Off to watch Ampthill today. Now there IS a professional setup.
If Le Bourgeois's comments in BoS are the official view of the game, I fear we are destined to a relegation scrap. He largely blames poor discipline, but that doesn't explain pointless kicks up the park, missed kicks into touch, failure to catch their kicks first time etc. To say "we're in a good place at the moment.....it's just not gone our way" is in my view delusional. There was a total lack of pride, guts and commitment and I would hope the players take a long hard look at themselves. Quite a few just didn't seem up for it at all or prepared to put in any real effort. Not what we have come to expect from The Blues!!
It seems that one young player having a bad game (not usual for him) can affect the performance of the whole team. The lad at 9 made a few errors ,lost confidence and consequently made more errors. This put the rest on the back foot resulting in more problems. This should have been recognised and a change made earlier.
Additionally, in spite of the problems inside him, Myles was having a good game and there was no logic for the 'routine' replacement with 20 mins to go. I am a admirer of Jakes skills but chasing a game, in my opinion, is not one of his best attributes.
This is, substantially, the same squad that played last season.
I honestly don’t think getting rid of Mike Rayer is the answer, who would you replace him with? and could that person do a better job with the current set of players? Lets not forget we were in the play offs last season, but unfortunately we lost about 5 very good players, and have recruited badly this season but that is not all down to Mike, resources play a big part.
Half the squad don’t look good enough for this level and the other half look like they want to be somewhere else. I don’t think we’ll be relegated this year as fortunately Richmond and Jersey seem to be worse of than us, however I think it could come next year unless we have a chairman who’s prepared to spend a bit more and get some quality.
So if Mike isn't the problem who or what is? The DOR and the senior coaching staff need to take responsibility for the shambles shown to us at the last two home games. If 1/2 the team aren't good enough they also have to shoulder the responsibility for either keeping them here or bringing them here this season.
I also agree that the team does not look like it wants to be on the pitch and once again it is the DOR and senior team that have to motivate and encourage all the players to play whether they like or loath the situation we are in.
Ultimately it is Mike Rayers job to train, up skill and improve our team. If you blame the Chairman for not stumping up the cash - that's fine but that is no excuse for developing a team that clearly has no passion on the park - engendering belief in yourself and your team is the coach or DORs role and that's done by working with the team both on and off the park. Standing in the suites / box is just a way of abdicating one of those responsibilities. His time is over - a change is required now before it's too late.
Last night was one of the worst performances I've seen by a Blues team in over 20 years of watching us. There seems to be a lack of leadership, poor decision making on the field, poor discipline and far too many unenforced errors. We lack control at half back, why not play Le Booj at fly half and start the game with the more experienced Burns. When fit, I would play Ollie Dodge as often as we can and start the game with Howard and Toops in.
Megagrumpyblue : Totally agree with your comments.
We have next to no leadership on the field and the appointment of Booj as captain is questionable in addition to the recruitment of players that are simply not Championship standard.
The DoR is responsible and must be held accountable (along with his coaching team) for the aforementioned and the current poor performance of the team. It's all too cosey in the ivory tower, it's not a job for life as some may think.
With that in mind, there can only be one outcome from the current situation, which is not sustainable as it stands at the moment.
We lost two of the best directors we had last year because they couldn’t work with the chairman. It’s okay to say lets get rid of Mike Rayer but who would you replace him with? and again would they do any better with this squad, I don’t think so. Anyway it’s pretty academic he’s not going anywhere as long as GI is running things. I wish we had as many postings last week after a win.
Why, are these two related in some way? It's clear to me that the current regime has been allowed to get too comfortable in their current positions. There should have been changes a few seasons ago.
We've become boring, predictable and leaderless on and off the pitch. We are all entitled to our opinions on this forum and as someone who has travelled up and down the country to watch the Blues, spent plenty of my hard earned cash, I'm entitled to be p'd off with it.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2016:11:26:21:07:24 by Jonathan Wilcox.
After reviewing my post from last night I thought my mind would of changed but no way. I have endured countless seasons of watching other teams beat up our pack. Not since the days of brooksey and John Philips have we had a pack of forwards to be proud of. Don't forget we have the second best attendance in this league yet other teams seem to sign far superior forwards than us is it down to coaching or bad signings it seemed last night that vassy was calling the shots from the balcony not anyone else was animated apart from supporters. At the least a new forwards and backs coach are needed the lineout has been comical all season set moves in the backs are so predictable it's embarrassing. I also realize that this will fall on deaf eats as Mr Irvine is a very stubborn man.
A penalty 22 yards out, on 80 minutes.. Options for tap and go, line out or penalty. Discussion in the middle of the field - Penalty kick taken and missed.
Is this the sign of a team with self belief or a team that will settle for a draw?
They are on that field to play for a win and need to start acting like it. If we lose because we tried, i'm okay with that. Losing on friday because you don't have the direction to play with your heart, the commitment to make difficult decisions or in fact the will to try - i'm not okay with?
I don't think we have bad players - i think we lack strategic direction, don't enjoy enough cash certainly, but critically, but don't seem to have a DOR that has the players support. Without that two way street we have no chance.
Oh yes, and Rotherham had a much bigger pack and we pushed them all over the park?
This forum is regretfully only mirroring what's been said on the streets of Bedford…..’the pond’ numbers less than a hundred people but over two thousand people watched the game, the majority were Blues fans who rarely had anything to shout about on Friday night….
This year we may be fortunate that other clubs will ensure we escape being involved in a scrap for relegation…..but if we stay with the current set up next year we will be struggling……in front of reduced attendances….
As for board I have tried to see if there has been any mention on this forum or elsewhere of the two new directors who were appointed in May…….., so to them I offer a warm welcome to James Alexander Stoner and Leigh Mansell…………the latter my personal hero….
[quote Jonathan Wilcox]Why, are these two related in some way? /quote]
They are related because both are successful business men with vision and finances and could have helped the club in many ways including funding recruitment. It’s also related because I happen to know that one of them presented a well thought out business plan for the future to Mr Irvine who chucked it in the bin without even reading it. You can go on about change as much as you like but until Mr Irvine steps down things will not improve on or of the field.
It’s also down to the players he has to work with. I don’t think the players we recruited in the summer are up to it and are nowhere near the quality of the players that we lost. If you pay peanuts you get monkeys Mr Irvine will not pay for quality players. As long as he is chairman Mike Rayer is going nowhere because Geoff is happy as long as we survive in the Championship.
Yes they play a part, but again it was the DoR that recruited them and that let others go and it's he who ultimately selects the team and instructs the game plan.
If GI is happy with what he's seeing currently from the stand and is prepared to do nothing about it, then it's dissapointing as far as I'm concerned. He along with the support of the board need to take some action.
The ongoing poor performance of the team has undoubtedly affected attendance, which will have an impact on our annual turnover. Therefore I don't see how anyone can be happy with it at the present time.
IronBlue - I can accpet that you feel its down to the players - particuallry their quality - and in some cases / some points in the game they all played poorly on Friday.
You could also argue that the quality of the squad is both the DORs problem and his salvation? IF the squad are poor then all the DOR has to do is teach them to defend and play a defensive style of rugby. Aim for draws and fritter our time away mid-table. Everybody happy? Noooo!
Alternativey, the DOR could take a view that as he has nothing else to work with he should attempt to mould them into some form of fighting force, based upon his skill as a DOR and with his team of super coaches surrounding him.
I dont really see either happening.
From my experiences of playing rugby, it was all about team, whether we won or not, play togther, train together, everything togther - on and off the picth. With a team spirit in place, you won some, you lost some. That does not seem to be an ethos that the Senior rugby staff at the club are either fostering and developing - or perhaps actively discouraging? How knows?
What I do know though, is that without direction, guidance, support, spirit and team ethos we are going nowhere but down. The responsibilitiy for those thinsg rest firmly on the shoulders of teh DOR and his staff. Should you change all the staff - because the DOR is failing - I suggest not - the man at the top should go!
By either falling on his sword - or being pushed out the door!
megagrumpyblue That was an appalling display, no passion, no creativity, no team spirit frankly no ideas.
There is only one person to blame: Mike Rayer - he shouldn't need to consider his position he should be given his marching orders. Enough is enough.
If he is still DOR in April next year i will not be renewing my season ticket.
Over the last week or so I have met several people locally and in the town who have said until things improve they will not be attending any matches
Another comment made by another party was that they refused to pay £20.00 for the rubbish that is being handed out, with Friday night's game being the last straw
Also what topped it was another chap I spoke to said that instead of going to Goldington Road he was off to watch the round ball game at Kempston, and he knew several others that would be doing the same
OK as a sportsman I know that we can all have a bad day, but what I cannot get my head round is that Tom Whitely had a mare last Friday so I thought maybe he would not feature or be on the bench this week as we are short of No.9s. When I saw his name in the 15, I thought maybe Burns was injured. But no where is he, on the bench
I think we need to wake up to what is required or without a steady attendance we could be on the slide. Maybe not this year with Richmond shoring up the league, but maybe next year
Precisely PPB. I know a few season ticket holders that haven't been for weeks and will not be renewing next year unless there is a change of DoR. They've had enough of going home depressed having spent money to watch rubbish.
I'm as confused as you are with regards the selection of Whitely, but that selection was down to you know who.
I've been attending GR for about 20 years through thick and thin but I won't be investing my pension in a Blues ticket again this year unless there is a major change in our performance. Off to Ampthill tomorrow where we oldies can get in for £5 if we pay a modest membership fee.
While not a fan of fair weather supporters I do have some sympathy. I was mildly admonished for airing some views that were interpreted as criticism of an individual player, but was surprised to see the team line up.
However, the problem is not the responsibility of one individual player. I believe that the captain's performance has been affected by the responsibilities and he needs to remind himself that rugby is a passing game. Others are equally guilty of forgetting this.Thus someone's previous comments about leadership on the field.
The dual reg players are welcome, but are we accommodating them in preference to Blues players? Where are Dodge, Farrell and Spelman (all injured?). And what about Tom James (scrum half signed from L. Students)?
Further. Our three-quarters are rapidly losing their reputation as fast and incisive. Very little penetration in recent games. That is a coaching issue.
Maybe Mike should be a little more 'hands on'.
Apologies if this post is a bit rambling but after 35 years of supporting the Blues I think I am allowed to rant a little.
Farrell played last night after Griffiths was ruled out due to injury just before kick off. Good Q. about Dodge, he's an experienced player and could provide a bit more direction perhaps to our back line.
Wouldn't read too much into last night's result considering Yorkshire Carnegie have only lost to L Irish so far and I believe in the entire history of our club we've never ever won at Headingley! Sounded on the radio like an improved performance and the final try gave the scoreline a flattering gloss to it for Yorkshire Puddings.
We are not going to go down so who cares? I am not going to a game this season but hey I have a season ticket and have had for the last 20 years so the club gets the money so who cares? Guess I do - what I do have to say is a big THANK YOU to the club for saving my marriage and forcing me to get a life without rugby - but hey who cares ( my last post)
Megagrumpyblue, I'm surprised he's still here to be honest. I was hoping for an announcement this week. With regards his comments in the BoS, he's just trying to distract all of us from his own failings, he's getting desperate.
Can someone direct Alan to the Dear Deidre page whilst we get on with slagging the players/coaches/transport/refs/linos/DOR/chairman/covered stand (lack of)/prices/beer/announcer/PA system/gate @#$%&/umbrellas and my pet hate...the followers. Thank you.
Very interesting conversation at lunchtime with a longstanding supporter and finacial backer of the club. It seems that Mr Irvine is trying to get his money back that he has put in over the past few years. The reason that the directors have left is for that very reason. We now have one of the lowest playing budgets in the league and will have to struggle on until it seems that he has recouped his money. I personally believe every word that he said. Mr rayer perhaps isn't getting a fair crack because of finacial restraints imposed on him. I was also told that there are prople willing to over but Mr Irvine won't do business until his money has been repaid.
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