Rayer demands more from lacklustre Blues after heavy home defeat

Mike Howard on the charge for Bedford
Mike Howard on the charge for Bedford

Mike Rayer has warned his players to ‘sharpen up quickly’ after his Bedford Blues team lost 42-15 to Rotherham Titans at Goldington Road on Saturday, writes Ryan Lewis.

The visitors managed to run in eight tries compared to Bedford’s two, and the score line could have been worse for Blues’ fans as Rotherham squandered 17 points from the kicking tee.

Rayer said: “We have no complaints about the result, we were completely outplayed.

“We need to learn a lesson in finishing; we had enough field position to make it a competitive game but didn’t come away with anything.

“We were in their 22 on many occasions but we did things that we’ve never done before which is quite frustrating.

“We made one or two line breaks and we would get in behind their defence, but we left too many chances out there.

“In attack there wasn’t much excitement and the penny has to drop soon because that is not the Bedford way, we want to score tries in attack and we want to go and play with the ball in hand.

“Whether it’s a player or a coaching issue, we have to come up with the answers. We want to get excited when we have the ball – it just didn’t seem that we wanted it at times. We would win the turnover and kick the ball away at times and that’s just brainless.”

Rotherham had scored four tries after just 32 minutes and raced into a 20-3 lead, ultimately securing victory early on. And the head coach identifies that as an area of immediate improvement.

Rayer said: “We’re getting penalised off the park early, their first four tries came from either individual error or discipline. They were able to keep the field position and get the early scores.

“We were giving them a leg up by dropping the ball, missing touch, or poor discipline. They should have been 30 points clear at half-time because of their missed kicks; it’s a factor of where we are at the minute.

“The group needs to pull together quickly. It is difficult at the moment as we have had an influx of players but our ethos won’t change and we will continue to promote the Bedford way of playing with the ball in hand.”