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Blues and Lightning: Loughborough quartet on song for Red Roses

We round up all the action from Northampton Saints’ partner club, Bedford Blues, and our joint Saints / Loughborough Lightning side in the Championship and Premier 15s competitions…

Lightning quartet help Red Roses round off perfect autumn

England’s women continued to tear through their opposition in their final autumn fixture by running in 15 tries in their 89-0 demolition of the USA on Sunday.

Four Loughborough Lightning players were involved at Sixways in Worcester, with Helena Rowland, Lark Davies and Sadia Kabeya all in the starting line-up and Sarah Hunter amongst the replacements.

Hooker Davies crossed the whitewash twice, scoring in each half off the back of driving mauls, while Rowland got in on the act herself by going over from over 30 metres after picking up a loose ball.

Rowland also kicked six conversions to give the fly-half a personal tally of 17 points, while Lydia Thompson and Sarah Bern matched Davies’ feat in scoring twice.

England’s other tries came from Vickii Cornborough, Abby Dow, Leanne Infante, Lagi Tuima, Zoe Aldcroft, Heather Cowell, debutant Connie Powell and Holly Aitchison, as they dominated from start to finish.

It was the Red Roses’ 18th consecutive Test win and consolidated back-to-back record victories over New Zealand and a thumping triumph against Canada.

Fourteen-man Bedford given the Blues by the Pirates

A sending-off for Jordan Onojaife proved to be costly for Bedford Blues, who went down to a 39-24 defeat against a strong Cornish Pirates side at the Mennaye Field.

There were two Saints involved in Bedford’s squad, with Ed Prowse lining up at tighthead prop and scrum-half Jake Garside coming off the bench for an ex-Northampton man in Alex Day.

This was the Blues’ first match in two weeks, following a home defeat against league leaders Ealing Trailfinders, and they found themselves 6-0 down thanks to two Arwel Robson penalties.

Mike Rayer’s side got on the board after 13 minutes when Pat Tapley got on the end of his own kick ahead to touch down, with Will Maisey’s conversion putting them in front.

Bedford soon had Dean Adamson sin-binned for a deliberate knock-on, and the Pirates made the most of their man advantage when hooker Tom Channon was driven over the line.

A brilliant offload off the floor by Prowse started a move that helped the Blues hit the front again, with the ball ultimately being spread wide for Maisey, whose kick ahead led to Day dotting down to reduce the gap to 13-12.

The visitors then hit the front again when Onojaife intercepted before passing to fellow former Saintsman Jamie Elliott, who sent Alex Woolford clear.

Channon made it a one-point game once more with his second pushover try before a fracas following a line-out led to Onojaife being sent off for throwing a punch, and Pirates’ Danny Cudmore being sin-binned.

Once the dust settled, Adamson gave Bedford a 24-18 lead at half-time by picking a superb line, but the hosts dominated the second half.

Joe Elderkin put them ahead seven minutes after the restart from close range before his fellow centre Rory Parata crossed in similar fashion, both after driving mauls had been repelled.

The outcome was settled when Syd Blackmore scored off the back of yet another driven line-out, as Bedford were made to pay for their indiscipline.

They will have the chance to bounce back at home to Nottingham on Saturday, when they are likely to have several more Saints at their disposal again.

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