We are hiring! Please click here to join our growing magazine delivery team in Gloucestershire!

4. Leaflets Distributed with TLA

Hartpury look to end cup campaign with win against Bedford

All Areas > Sport > Rugby Union

Author: Roger Jackson, Posted: Friday, 14th December 2018, 10:10

John Barnes John Barnes

Saturday sees Hartpury’s final outing in this season’s Championship Cup and it is unlikely to be competition that will be missed greatly in this part of Gloucestershire.

Not only has it brought five defeats from five matches so far – which is clearly not the fault of the competition – but the format means that every weekend currently feels a little bit like ‘Groundhog Day’, as Hartpury put a team out to play any one of London Irish, Bedford Blues or Cornish Pirates.

With all three of those clubs also recently featuring in Hartpury’s ‘regular’ league fixture list, there is a certain sense of ‘over-familiarity’ developing. After Hartpury have played London Irish on 28th December, for example, all of their previous eight fixtures will have been against those three clubs.

Add to this that Hartpury also played Pirates in mid-September and will play them again before the end of January – as well as four times last season – and, well, you get the point!

Focusing on Saturday, everyone at the Gillman’s Ground has fingers crossed that the paperwork is finalised in time for Akapusi Qera to make his debut in red and black. The player has travelled to France this week to arrange his visa, so Hartpury are now just awaiting clearance from the RFU.

Last Sunday’s heavy reversal at London Irish did come at some further cost in terms of personnel as both Rob Langley (rib cartilage) and Ben Kelland (concussion) are out of contention for the match with Bedford. This is offset by the better news that experienced back row forward Iain Grieve is likely to be able start, as may winger Jake Henry.

Former Premiership prop Dan Murphy, who has missed all of the cup matches so far, is another who could play some part, along with back-rower Tom Pashley.

Bedford will, of course, be a difficult proposition. Despite being beaten home and away by a very strong London Irish in the cup, they did record a win over the Pirates last time out. They will have a chance of overtaking the Cornishmen if they can get a win at Hartpury and the Pirates go down at home to the Exiles.

“This is the last of our cup matches and against another very strong side, in Bedford,” said director of rugby John Barnes.

“This will be our third meeting with them in the last six weeks, but the first at home. Obviously we can’t progress in the cup, but we’ll be looking for a good performance to give us confidence going back into Championship fixtures after Christmas.”

Hartpury were not at their best on the most recent visit to Goldington Road, but will take some encouragement from the fact that the two prior engagements with the Blues resulted in very evenly contested fixtures.

Hartpury lost to a last minute try at home towards the end of the 2017-18 season and then saw history repeat itself in the away league match in October, when a late Blues try, and a subsequent missed Hartpury penalty, again saw victory turn into defeat.

Saturday’s game will kick off at the slightly earlier than usual time of 2pm, to fit in with cup regulations. Hartpury’s final fixture of 2018, at home to London Irish in the Greene King IPA Championship on Friday 28th December, will be an evening kick off at 7.45pm.

Copyright © 2024 The Local Answer Limited.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site's author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to The Local Answer Limited and thelocalanswer.co.uk with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

More articles you may be interested in...

The Local Answer. Advertise to more people in Gloucestershire
The Local Answer. More magazines through Gloucestershire doors

© 2024 The Local Answer Limited - Registered in England and Wales - Company No. 06929408
Unit H, Churchill Industrial Estate, Churchill Road, Leckhampton, Cheltenham, GL53 7EG - VAT Registration No. 975613000

Privacy Policy