Bedford Blues exorcised the demons of a fortnight ago by picking up a bonus point 36-21 win over Rotherham Titans at Clifton Lane on Saturday.
It was an impressive victory at a difficult ground with the Blues going about their business in determined fashion and not allowing small mistakes to detract from a dominating team display.
Tries from Elliot Clements-Hill, Ollie Dodge, Ben Adams, Jordan Burns and Piers O’Conor did the damage while Myles Dorrian added 11 points with his boot.
The afternoon started in glorious fashion and the opening 10 minutes were a tense affair with Bedford having an early chance when the kick-off was dropped and the ball regathered. Numerous phases followed but Bedford couldn’t break through and a knock on ended the move.
Rotherham went on the attack and thought they had scored in the seventh minute but Paul Tupai stopped the grounding following a driving maul. The hosts had a penalty and sent it to touch but crossing gave Bedford the chance to clear.
The visitors’ failure to find touch resulted in the opening try. Rotherham attacked from inside their own half before the ball made its way to Will Owen who danced his way over, Lee Millar converting.
Momentum swung Bedford’s way with a penalty finding touch and the pack made a few yards before the backs were released and Dean Adamson came off his wing to feed Clements-Hill who dotted down for an unconverted try.
Rotherham had a sniff of an attack soon after but Bedford were over again in the 18th minute as Jason Hill and Adamson linked up to charge towards the Titans line. The Blues went through phases orchestrated by Tom Whiteley before Dodge powered over, with Dorrian converting.
Bedford were guilty of missing a few chances in the first half as fine passages of play went unfinished but in the 39th minute they got their reward after Titans overthrew a lineout. Patience was key as the Blues inched forward before Adams jinked his way over and Dorrian converted for a 19-7 half-time lead.
Rotherham came out determined after the restart and crossed for their second try in the 48th minute after sustained pressure paid off.
Titans maintained the charge and Bedford had to dig deep in defence to prevent the hosts from gaining ground.
The Blues started to find more space as the half wore on though as a knock to Hill stopped the game but from a scrum restart, Bedford won a penalty and Dorrian stroked it over to make it 22-14.
Blues got their fourth try in the 70th minute when a scrum led to replacement Jordan Burns feeding Dorrian who linked up with Dodge.
He powered through the defence before offloading for Burns to score, Dorrian converting.
Back came Titans as the penalties stacked up. The referee awarded a penalty try after Blues stopped lineout drives illegally, Tupai being carded in the process.
But from the kick-off Blues scored again. The hosts failure to secure the ball, allowing O’Conor to brush off some weak tackles to dot down, Dorrian converting to make it 21-36.
Bedford kept the ball in Rotherham’s half and could have stretched further ahead but Jake Sharp’s penalty attempt pulled wide. It mattered not as Blues saw out the final minutes to seal a confidence-boosting win.