Ampthill error costs them dearly at Nottingham, Bedford Blues win again at Penzance

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After the joy of winning their RFU Championship opener, Ampthill last weekend went down 41-28 at Nottingham.

Head coach Paul Turner said “We started well and at 14-5 felt we were well in control of the game. “We’d spoken all week about the threat of Nottingham's backline and they punished every defensive error we made and found ourselves down 26-14 at half-time.

“After half-time our set piece took control and we raced into a 26-28 lead with 10 to go. But we made an error from the restart and that proved costly as Nottingham scored from it to put them in front and ultimately won them the game. We’ve lots to work on before Coventry visit our place this weekend.”

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A fourth Parks conversion gave Ampthill the lead with 12 minutes to play.

Ampthill and Bedford rugby round-up.Ampthill and Bedford rugby round-up.
Ampthill and Bedford rugby round-up.

But Nottingham restored their advantage from the restart, Marcus Ramage getting his second. A penalty kicked to 5m gave Nottingham the opportunity to extend that lead and their forwards obliged, scoring from the maul to make it 38-28 and five to play.

A late yellow card for Ampthill gave Nottingham a numerical advantage and when awarded another penalty they scored their sixth try from another catch and drive.

Meanwhile, Bedford Blues made it back-to-back away victories at Cornish Pirates for the first time in club history thanks to a resolute and gritty 20-18 victory at The Mennaye.

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It wasn’t quite the free flowing, joue attacking hallmarks that underpinned the 41-21 victory 12 months ago, but sometimes you have to play the conditions and Blues navigated choppy waters to secure the four points.

Mike Rayer’s side have played better in Penzance and lost. But they would rather be in this position than some of those heartbreaking defeats. Finding a different way to win will stand the squad in good stead for other instances where they might need a Plan B. A total of 27 scrums paints a picture of how the game struggled to develop for large periods, with countless handling errors from both sides.