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Blues v Chiefs preview


3 Wheels

By 3 Wheels on My Waggon
October 28 2009

3 Wheels looks forward to Saturady and what promises to be another close encounter. Can the Chiefs make it 9 from 9 ? bedfordlogochiefslogo                                                                    Preview :– Bedford Blues vs Exeter Chiefs 31st Oct 09 

It’s here again, the annual tussle between Bedford and Exeter at Goldington Road, a favourite of so many fans.

Bedford make a habit of finishing in the higher levels of the league, and seem to perform extremely well in their backyard against the other high flying teams, having last season beaten Leeds, Donny and Nottingham at GR, whilst only losing 3 times there by the narrowest of margins against Welsh, Exeter and by a more convincing margin against the Cornish Pirates.

 

The Blues and the Chiefs are used to close games, with Exeter coming out on top by 1 point at SP in the EDF trophy last season, winning 12-11, whilst there was only 3 points in it back at the start of the season when the Blues lost by 3 points, 23-26. The Chiefs having taken the honours 3 times last season, by also beating them 40-21 at SP. The 07/08 season was another nail biter at GR, but that time it was the Blues that took the honours by 2 points, winning 14-12.

 So what has this season brought so far:

Bedford started well, winning their first 3 games, against Donny, Coventry and Plymouth, before losing at GR by a mere point to Bristol, 5-6, and then falling to London Welsh at the ODP. Their last 2 games have both been very close, taking a 2 point win at Rotherham, 25-27, followed by their 3rd loss of the season, last week at Nottingham, by another single point, 30-29.

 

James Pritchard, their Australian full back, has again made his mark as leading points scorer, with 2 tries and 26 kicks to give him a points tally of 74, having topped their points table last season with 216, with 200 of them coming from his boot. Whether they are missing their talented centre Billy Twelvetrees, who has returned to Leicester, only time will show.

 

Club records have started to tumble at Exeter, with 8 wins from 8, including a well earned beating of Bristol at their own ground, and with ex club captain, Richie Baxter, continuing to build on his record appearance total and also having passed the 100 league tries mark. However, whilst the score lines have gone their way, there have been some close calls along the way, with plenty of points being scored against them. The Chiefs seem to be getting better in all departments, having cut down on the number of penalties they have given away. Each game has seen a different emphasis, and at this stage it must be hard for the opposition coaches to gauge how the Chiefs will play in any one game, or even in any 1 half. They have shown some very tight fortress like defence, some open running attacks and some very tight forward play, the fact that the a back, Matt Jess, and a forward, Richie Baxter, share the clubs top try scorer position is a testament to the different types of play experienced. They have also benefited from the sure footed boot of Gareth Steenson, having scored 90 of the Chiefs 281 points to date, sharing the Championship’s top points scorer position with Jarvis of Bristol. With most of the squad now having played in at least 1 game so far this season, and with so many of them having staked a claim to a place in the squad, its hard to hazard a guess as to who will be travelling to Bedford. Whoever travels, will have to ensure that they are clearly focused on this game, if they are to return home with 9 out of 9, as Bedford will punish mistakes.

 

With the Blues gates appearing to buck the trend this season, already showing an increase vs 08/09, it is advisable to arrive early to avoid queues at the turnstiles.

 

It will be the usual close game and I’m sure a safe boot will again be required at GR, hopefully not leaving it to the last minute or to the posts to usher the winning points over.

My prediction, 18-21 to the Chiefs.  

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thechiefstribe.com
Blues v Chiefs preview
thechiefstribe.com (IP Logged)
28/10/2009 19:59
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