Crowle wants more after Blues thrash Old Albanians in pre-season opener

Jan Vandermolen bagged a brace against Old Albanians
Jan Vandermolen bagged a brace against Old Albanians

Bedford Blues got their pre-season off on the right note by putting six tries past Old Albanians on Friday night in a 40-5 victory, but first team manager Rob Crowle believes there is still lots to work on, writes Ted Kemplen.

The six tries were amounted through a set of braces through number eight Joe Vandermolen and trialist Steve Ellis, forwards James Currie and captain Paul Tupai also registered powerful scores.

On loan fly-half Steffan Jones notched three conversions on the night, Mike LeBourgeois and Jake Sharp also registered one each.

Crowle said: “We showed a bit of composure but we also showed there’s a bit to work on as well.

“From a coaching view though it’s a perfect start because we don’t want to be perfect starting off.”

Old Albanians struggled to deal with the difference in class and were frustrated by the Blues throughout, former Blue Jon Phillips was shown yellow 53 minutes in for bringing a maul down.

But the visitors took away some credit from the encounter; they got a consolation try with 10 minutes to go through Sam Lunnon after he found a gap and was able to run over the whitewash.

Crowle was pleased with the display but is well aware the tests are going to get harder as the season draws closer, starting next weekend with a trip to Ealing.

He continued: “It was a typical pre-season friendly.

“Albanians came here with a lot of enthusiasm and our boys matched them.

“It’s important to see how players are gelling together, we’re looking for partnerships and to see if the players are understanding the coaching patterns, also showing they want to play in the Bedford shirt.

“It’s definitely going to get tougher, Ealing have recruited very well over the summer.

“Having experienced the Championship last year they know what we’re about and ran us close a couple of times last year.

“They probably have something to prove against us because if we had turned up against Jersey they would have still been in this league.

“Next week we’ll want to start the game a bit more technical and certainly against Saracens we’ll be looking to show a bit more heart.”

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