Welsh flyer Czekaj hits first tre­ble in a decade

The Rugby Paper - - Greene King Ipa Championship - ■ By MATT WRIGHT

CHRIS Czekaj had a Fri­day night to re­mem­ber as the for­mer Wales in­ter­na­tional full-back scored a hat-trick in Bed­ford’s com­pre­hen­sive win over Not­ting­ham at Gold­ing­ton Road.

Not many would have ex­pected the re­sult of this match to be so clear cut, as the Blues ef­fec­tively had vic­tory wrapped up with half an hour still to play.

From al­most the first whis­tle they looked a yard quicker against a Not­ting­ham side who failed to do them­selves jus­tice, fol­low­ing a start to the sea­son that had seen a big im­prove­ment from them.

Czekaj said: “It was good to get the three tries – it’s been about ten years since I’ve got a hat-trick, so it was nice to get over the white­wash.

“We con­trolled the game re­ally well from the off.

“We talked about play­ing the ter­ri­tory and putting pres­sure on them, which is ex­actly what we did with our kick­ing game push­ing them back and we were re­ally clin­i­cal in fin­ish­ing our tries off.

“The for­wards did some re­ally hard work tonight and made it for us.”

Bed­ford broke through af­ter six min­utes, as Ol­lie Dodge went through a cou­ple of tack­les be­fore Lee Dick­son re­cy­cled the ball for Czekaj, who was helped over in the corner.

A pass from Oli Evans for Billy Robin­son just a few me­tres out was ruled for­ward, as Not­ting­ham missed a golden op­por­tu­nity.

Will Hoo­ley then kicked a sim­ple penalty for the Blues be­fore the fly-half’s cross­field kick set up their sec­ond try, with Dean Adam­son show­ing great skill in get­ting the ball back inside for Czekaj to score.

The hosts ex­tended their lead fur­ther five min­utes into the sec­ond half through a penalty try and the bonus point was soon in the bag.

Hoo­ley started the move off with a su­perb long pass to Adam­son on the left and the winger timed his pass to al­low Czekaj to sprint clear and com­plete his tre­ble.

An­other three points then came from Hoo­ley’s boot be­fore Not­ting­ham fi­nally broke their duck with a cou­ple of late tries, as Josh Poul­let plunged over from close range and Tiff Eden struck off a quickly-taken penalty.

Not­ting­ham head coach Ian Costello said: “It was very dis­ap­point­ing, that was our poor­est per­for­mance of the sea­son by a long shot.

“There are very few pos­i­tives for us to take out of it – all credit to Bed­ford, they were ex­cel­lent tonight, but we’re just dis­ap­pointed with our own per­for­mance.”

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