Bedford Blues director of rugby Mike Rayer was disappointed for his players after they fell valiantly 29-20 to Newcastle at Goldington Road on Saturday, writes Michael Hann.
Bedford were magnificent throughout and can count themselves unlucky not to have taken anything from the game after they gave the Championship leaders their toughest test yet.
“I am disappointed for the lads,” Rayer said afterwards. “They have put a lot of effort into that game and we played some great rugby.
“But the fact of the matter is Newcastle have come here and done the job. They were very efficient in what they did and they walk away with the points.”
The Blues had worked hard up the slope in the first half and looked to be going in at the break 13-6 down – only to concede a try in the final minute of the half
And Rayer says that had a big impact on the outcome of the game.
“It was massive,” he said. “We had control of that situation. We turned the ball over and then a couple of bits of slack tackling and individual stuff and they punished us severely.
“We just wanted to keep in touch with them and apply a bit of pressure on the scoreboard.
“We got ourselves back in there but we just didn’t have that killer edge in the end to squeeze them a bit more. It was a six-point game at one stage and I thought the boys did terrifically well to battle back to that.
“The collective spirit amongst them is fantastic and it’s just obviously the little bits of individual error and missed tackles that creeps in every now and again.”
The Blues ran out in front of their highest crowd of the season and the director of rugby reserved special praise for the Goldington Road faithful. “The crowd are terrific and to be fair they have seen a great rugby match,” Rayer added.
“It was a real contest and they have seen a good side in Newcastle.
“We have come up a bit short but we live to fight another day.”