Bedford Blues v Doncaster Knights preview: Tough test awaiting Knights at Goldington Road
Doncaster Knights will face a Bedford Blues team on Friday who are desperate to restore their pride after losing their opening game.
Bedford went down 40-28 at Jersey last weekend after being the odd team out and without a game on the opening weekend of the season.
Knights rectified their opening day defeat at Coventry and instigated their ‘fortress Castle Park’ reputation with victory over London Scottish last Saturday.
But they will face a much stiffer test on the infamous Goldington Road sloping pitch in front of a vociferous home crowd.
Back row Ollie Stedman, who joined Bedford this summer, will be keen to impress against his former club.
Stedman was among the Blues’ try scorers at Jersey and Doncaster will know all about the qualities he will offer his new side.
Bedford duo Rich Lane and Joe Atkinson are also likely to be key men – they were named in the inaugural Championship Clubs Podcast Team of the Year last season.
Bedford also have a strategic partnership with Premiership side Northampton Saints to formally co-operate on playing, coaching and training opportunities.
No fewer than 16 Northampton players pulled on the Bedford jersey last season and back Row Tui Uru and hooker Jack Hughes have since signed full time for the Blues.
Bedford faced Championship rivals Ampthill twice in pre-season, winning and losing two high-scoring fixtures.
They also recorded an impressive win over Saracens Storm and lost 21-40 to Northampton.