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London Scottish 28 – 12 Yorkshire Carnegie

London Scottish 28 – 12 Yorkshire Carnegie

The sun was shining over Richmond in South West London on Saturday as both London Scottish and Yorkshire Carnegie looked to get their seasons off to a strong start.

The sun was shining over Richmond in South West London on Saturday as both London Scottish and Yorkshire Carnegie looked to get their seasons off to a strong start.

Yorkshire ended strongly last season in the playoff finals, losing out on promotion to London Irish, but have struggled in pre-season to get game-time in, owing to a number of injuries.

MPU

This lack of preparation showed in the early parts of the game, where Yorkshire made a number of handling errors. Scottish were quick to capitalise on the mistakes, and when the ball popped out from the back of a scrum inside the Carnegie 22, Matt Williams broke and offloaded to Tjiuee Uanivi, who opened the scoring. Jake Sharp converted and Scottish were 7-0 up within 6 minutes.

This early set-back seemed to galvanise Carnegie, who moved the ball well and went through the phases deep in the Scottish half. Their pressure was rewarded, when they worked the ball across the pitch from a line-out, into the hands of Chris Elder who broke through the Scottish defence for their opening try. Alex Davies stepped up and converted to level the scores after 17 minutes.

Scottish responded by putting together some nice phases of play, but found themselves deep in their own half again on the 26 minute mark. Carnegie won a penalty from a dominant scrum and kicked the ball to the corner. Some excellent passing got the ball out wide to Elder, who raced for the line again for his second try of the game. Davies unable to covert, meaning the sides went in at half time: Scottish 10 – 12 Carnegie.

Scottish came out with purpose in the second half, and exerted a lot of pressure in the opening minutes. Carnegie were forced to concede a penalty just inside their own 22, which Sharp duly dispatched to give Scottish a narrow 13 – 12 lead.

Over the next 15 minutes, it was an incredible defensive display from both sides. Each team able to exert pressure, and move through the phases, but the crucial moment came after 67 minutes. Carnegie, who were defending on their 5 metre line were penalised for coming in at the side of the ruck; Sharp stepped up and scored the penalty, and extended the Scottish lead to 16 – 12.

This set-up the game up for a frantic, final 10 minutes. Carnegie reacted quickly, and surged forward from the kick off, stringing together a nice passage of play, and moving the ball wide. On the 22, they were met by formidable hooker, Dan George, who forced the turnover and allowed Scottish to clear their lines.

Carnegie attacked again, but more handling errors allowed Scottish to collect the ball and press their own attack. A turnover by Ed Milne on the halfway line, was kicked all the way down to the Carnegie 5m line for a Scottish line out at 74 minutes played.

From this line-out, Scottish went for a catch and drive, but the resilient Carnegie defence held-firm, so the ball was quickly worked out to Ben Mosses who swanned in under the posts to put Scottish out of reach. With the conversion by Sharp again, Scottish had extended their lead to 23 -12.

The Scots now had their tails up and wanted to finish the game with a flourish; Carnegie worked the ball down to the Scottish 22, but it was intercepted by Sharp who booted the ball back down the field… the 60m chase ended deep inside the Carnegie half; unable to clear because of the pressure from the oncoming Scottish, Carnegie gave away another penalty.

Knowing there was only 2 minutes left on the clock, Scottish opted to kick to the corner; from the line-out, Scottish moved the ball quickly through the hands out to Nick Scott, who found himself in acres of space on the wing, and ran in for an easy try. Converted was missed by Sharp, the final score was London Scottish 28 – 12 Yorkshire Carnegie.

Man of the Match: Tjiuee Uanivi

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