The mighty Maori All Blacks were everything the RFU Championship select side expected as they were beaten 52-21 by the Southern Hemisphere team at Castle Park on Saturday, writes Mark Wood.
Having kept pace with their international rivals for long stretches the Maoris eventually overwhelmed the scratch representative side.
England U20 winger Josh Bassett was the only Bedford Blues star to start the encounter and was thrilled by the experience.
He said: “The Maoris have got a huge tradition. They lost to Leicester Tigers and it’s the first time they’ve lost in five years.
“To face the Haka is something everyone wants to do in their lifetime.
“I think it’s one of the best ways to get up for a game. It’s something you watch on TV and you wonder what’s going through the players’ heads. It’s quite a spectacle.
“They were like you expect them to be, quick strong and everything you would expect in the Maori.
“I think we did really well for the amount of time we were together but what the RFU did for us was amazing.
“We defended unfortunately for most of the game. When we did have the ball we showed what the RFU Championship is about.”