Frustrating day for Blues boss Rayer as Pirates plunder the points

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Bedford Blues director of rugby Mike Rayer admitted he was ‘frustrated’ after his side let a lead slip in the final moments to go down 35-34 in their British and Irish Cup opener at Cornish Pirates.

“We had to go out and win the game, which we’d done,” said Rayer. “Then a couple of poor decisions at the end, when we tried to run the ball when we had the lead, cost us and Pirates won.”

“I imagine it was a great game for the spectators to watch, but the defeat is tough to take and we left a bit out there really.

“It is a bit where we are at; when we are good we are very good, and when we’re poor we look ugly, and it was definitely a case of that today.

“We have got to find some middle ground, somewhere to get that consistency.

“But we are working hard at it. The boys were flat out at the end, as were Pirates.

“They were out on their knees, and that shows they have given everything for the cause, so I can’t fault the effort of them.

“We weren’t thinking straight at the end, when we had the lead and kept playing; we probably should have just poked the ball down the touchline and defended from there.

Rayer added: “We didn’t get enough points on the board in the first half, of which we had large chunks.

“We were giving up silly field positions through penalties, and we were giving the Pirates a leg up with territory.

“They were able to go to the corner and score a couple of tries, particularly with one on the stroke of half-time.

“We also had a sin-binning, and it is just ill-discipline week after week from us.”

One area of concern for Rayer was Bedford’s set piece, with difficulties in both the scrum and line-out.

“For whatever reason our line-out didn’t function, and our scrum was under pressure early on, though we fixed things up a little bit,” he said.

“I suppose, if we had some set-piece, we wouldn’t be a bad side!

“But those are the things we have got to keep working hard on. It is a tough learning curve, and it is tough to come all the way down to Penzance and taste defeat, after producing so many good things.”

However, despite the loss, the Blues have two points on the board as they head into a home Cup game against Welsh Principality Premiership side Cross Keys on Saturday.