Blues’ first outing is a real tri-umph for Rayer

Mike Rayer, Bedford Blues
Mike Rayer, Bedford Blues

Bedford Blues head coach Mike Rayer felt Saturday’s triangular tournament between themselves, Ampthill and Old Albanians was an excellent workout for his squad.

The Blues drew 5-5 with Ampthill in the first forty minute match of the afternoon, before a different starting XV beat Old Albanians 20-0 in the second match of the day.

An attendance of 1,564 turned out in force at Goldington Road on Saturday afternoon and Rayer feels it was a great day for all involved.

“The day was excellent, really good, Ampthill and OA’s were excellent and it was great for us to have our first hit out,” claimed the former Wales international.

“A few lungs were bursting a bit but it was about the contact we needed and we certainly got a good workout.”

Rayer and his coaching staff have put the Blues players through their paces in a tough pre-season programme so far, but the Bedford head coach of ten years feels there is nothing quite like some game time to improve players’ fitness.

He said: “That’s what today was all about, you can do as much fitness as you can do but when it comes to the game it’s a totally different scenario. But yeah I’m pleased with the way it went and it gives us a good platform to work off.”

A squad of 28 players were used on Saturday, including 11 players making their Blues debuts at Goldington Road, and Rayer added: “It’s good to get them to put the jersey on really and it was two good sides that we managed to pick there.”

He continued: “There were a couple of players that we had on the sidelines but they are itching to get out there; no-one is long term injured really so it’s all good stuff at this stage of the season.”