Welsh flyer Czekaj hits first treble in a decade
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.”