Bedford Bruised


By AdminBTCov
December 9 2019

Bedford, always proud, normally competitive, seem to have a slight problem this season.

Their supporters don't seem to be able to put their finger on it, and it would appear that Mike Rayer can't either. Their season has spluttered and fizzled in a most uncharacteristic fashion.

They are, for sure, better than Saturday's scoreline suggests, yet for all their huffing and puffing they can't seem to get it together at the moment.

Which won't worry Cov's century-up Director of Rugby Rowland Winter one jot.

Bedford_A_Cup_071219_02.jpg

Games like this, in a cup competition that so many folk purport to view as ridiculous, or superfluous, have the habit of throwing up unforeseen results. Witness the game just down the road on the turfed beaches of, and in the gloaming of, Ampthill. If ever there was likely to be an upset in the cup, this one was not going to be it. Ampthill, soundly beaten by Cov just the previous weekend, versus Ealing, who had brushed aside Bedford on the same day, had no chance. Not a cat in hell's.

But then, until the last few minutes, The Mob, newly promoted and widely unfancied, led Ealing and looked like pulling off the result of the round, if not the season. History will show that Ealing won it at the death, but that doesn't detract from the home side's performance.

Bedford_A_Cup_071219_03.jpg

And it's games like that that make Cup games so special. Any cup. Even this strange, unloved, makeshift, fill-in-a-few-blank weekends Cup.

I was one of the non-believers last season. Couldn't see the point (and to be fair, who would given the fact that the RFU was underlining its credentials as 'probably the most hapless organisation in the world to be left in charge of a sporting competition'?).

Bedford_A_Cup_071219_04.jpg

However, given that the aforementioned cabal can't really effectively run a bath, less so a league, the fact that the second tier of English rugby comprises twelve clubs comes as no surprise, and doesn't look like changing for the better any time soon given the paucity of funding forthcoming to level two.

A little more than half a million nicker each of central funding doesn't go very far. Diluted further and there'd be trouble for some of the league's clubs. And there's no CVC on the horizon for the paupers. Hence this much-maligned league-cum-KO competition.

Bedford_A_Cup_071219_06.jpg

It's what we have. Let's make the most of it.

And that's what Cov set about doing again on Saturday. Needing a point to assure progression to the knock-out stages, they went one (four in fact) better with a bonus point win, putting themselves in the driving seat for a home tie in the last eight as the fourth-seeded side.

Bedford_A_Cup_071219_07.jpg

No, they can't relax, as Jersey, Pirates, and Nottingham could all steal that coveted home match-up, but now Winter's side know exactly what they need to do to achieve that goal.

Two points at Ealing. And we know that can be done...

(Oh, and Bedford will be back before too long; of that I think we can be pretty certain).

Final Score:

Bedford Blues 12-37 Coventry Rugby

Try Scorers: Purdy (2), Trimble (2), White

Conversions: Jennings, Maisey (2)

Penalties: Jennings, Maisey

(Pics: Nick Meredith)

pqs: qs:
Bedford Bruised
Posted by: Unofficial Coventry Rugby (IP Logged)
Date: 09/12/2019 20:41

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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2019:12:14:09:58:12 by AdminBTCov.

Re: Bedford Bruised
Posted by: covkid53 (IP Logged)
Date: 10/12/2019 14:16

An interesting piece, but while we have have one fallen giant in the division with parachute payments, there is little chance of one of the 11 remaining clubs finishing top. It would need a benefactor to inject lots of cash into one of the 3 teams capable of sustaining premiership rugby, I include Cov in that because I believe we would sell out the BPA every home game even with increased capacity. Would that be enough without further benefactor investments? no. Exeter and Worcester being the models to follow, both old cities with populations half that of Coventry. Coventry unofficially using ONS latest estimate, has a population of 419,000. Including Warwickshire around one million, so the catchment is there even with Wasps on the plot. IMHO.

Re: Bedford Bruised
Posted by: telly1 (IP Logged)
Date: 10/12/2019 16:27

Cov kid is dead right. The market is big enough. For two teams ie Sheffield, Manchester, Liverpool etc etc sustaining 2 teams in soccer.
Thing is, crowds are mainly for the atmosphere, the income is well down the list after commercial sponsorship and a rich benefactor.

Re: Bedford Bruised
Posted by: HoboAl (IP Logged)
Date: 10/12/2019 19:31

Quote:
telly1
Cov kid is dead right. The market is big enough. For two teams ie Sheffield, Manchester, Liverpool etc etc sustaining 2 teams in soccer.
Thing is, crowds are mainly for the atmosphere, the income is well down the list after commercial sponsorship and a rich benefactor.

I noticed in the Bedford programme every squad member is sponsored by a different sponsor; unlike Cov were there are lots of blanks including some of our top players. Last year the Sharp family was all too prevelant on the players sponsors page.

Also Bedford had a long list of Platinum, gold and silver sponsors.

Cov still have a lot of work to do to progress the club on a commercial level and as well as growing the fanbase. It will not happen overnight but I think some are under estimating the challenge?

I am not being negative just realistic. The presence of Wasps does make it more difficult at a time when Rugby is struggling to attract big money sponsorship (i.e Ricoh naming rights has long lapsed and the 6 Nations took a drastic nose dive over several months because a couple of Nations read the market wrong).

Re: Bedford Bruised
Posted by: HoboAl (IP Logged)
Date: 10/12/2019 20:20

Also re Warwickshire it supplies fans to Leicester, Northampton, Worcester Rugby as well as Wasps. Then there is football, Coventry, Villa, Birmingham, Wolves and WBA. It also holds season ticket holders for Manchester United and Liverpool. There is a bus from Coventry for Celtic home games. Rangers have a Supporters Club in the city.

Plucking populations figures out the air means nothing. People are already following their traditions of choice. It is a tough market Cov Rugby are playing in. However, we have a great tradition and at the moment a very entertaining team, a great match day experience costing little compared to some. But getting people to join the Blue n Whites and stay loyal is still a tough task.

Re: Bedford Bruised
Posted by: covkid53 (IP Logged)
Date: 11/12/2019 17:17

HoboAI

Catchment populations are wholly relevant to potential gate numbers. Fans are fickle and are attracted by success. If Cov are successful with the right opposition visiting the BPA, gates will improve, that is fact, not fiction.

Re: Bedford Bruised
Posted by: timdouglas1 (IP Logged)
Date: 11/12/2019 20:16

Where did the Wasps fans from Coventry go before they ended up at The Ricoh? You can bet your bottom dollar it wasn't Adams Park. How does the old saying go? Build it, and it will grow.

Re: Bedford Bruised
Posted by: AdminBTCov (IP Logged)
Date: 11/12/2019 21:12

'Build it and they will come'
Let's hope so anyway.

Re: Bedford Bruised
Posted by: HoboAl (IP Logged)
Date: 12/12/2019 10:44

Quote:
covkid53
HoboAI
Catchment populations are wholly relevant to potential gate numbers. Fans are fickle and are attracted by success. If Cov are successful with the right opposition visiting the BPA, gates will improve, that is fact, not fiction.


I havent said gates won't rise with success. I have said it is a tough market and won't be easy. I think some people thought the BPA attendances would have been higher in the Championshio than they have been for instance?

Hopefully Purdy can entice a few more through the gate as he is real class. How long we will hang on to him could be a worry?

[www.therugbypaper.co.uk]

Re: Bedford Bruised
Posted by: Rob C (IP Logged)
Date: 12/12/2019 11:29

Let's face it, as you say, Purdy already looks a class above but he'll hopefully see this season out with Cov.

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