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This coming Saturday London Scottish make the relatively short journey across to Hersham to take on Esher. This match takes on an extra significance as both teams will be battling to gain the victory and secure another bonus point towards the relegation play offs. Scottish will be looking to improve from their last outing against Nottingham.

This coming Saturday London Scottish make the relatively short journey across to Hersham to take on Esher. This match takes on an extra significance as both teams will be battling to gain the victory and secure another bonus point towards the relegation play offs. Scottish will be looking to improve from their last outing against Nottingham.

With both teams now in the relegation pool play offs the match on Saturday against Esher, in what will now be the third in a run of five games in the 2011/12 Championship season. In what promises to be a cracker of a game both sides will be aiming to secure the win. The Esher season has been blighted with injuries to key personnel in their squad throughout, which has clearly influenced their position in the league table. Like Esher, Scottish have similarly suffered from injuries to players and it was great to see influential players, such as Mark Bright and John Bordiss returning to the side last weekend and it was certainly a boost to the Scottish squad ahead of the play offs.

MPU

The Esher club have developed a close relationship with Harlequins over the years, which has seen a good number of Harlequins Academy players plying the early stages of their careers at the Molesey Road ground. This season is no exception, with winger Charlie Walker, prop Will Collier, full back Ross Chisholm and second row Charlie Mathews all turning out for the Esher side. Additionally, Esher have also signed second row Tom Alexander from London Irish on dual registration. In fact, Walker, Collier and Chisholm all turned out for Esher in their last home match against Cornish Pirates, however all three were recalled by Harlequins for their LV Trophy match against Leicester Tigers last weekend and with Harlequins having another LV Trophy match on Sunday, it will be interesting to see how many of these talented youngsters will play against Scottish.

Other Esher players whom Scottish supporters should look out for in the match are international centre come winger Phil Mackenzie, fly half Mark Atkinson and former Harlequins Academy centre Tom Cheeseman. Their Head Coach Mike Schmid will no doubt be planning to bring his side together in the remaining regular season matches, before the all important play offs begin. Over the recent months the Esher side have been improving in their matches and certainly will provide Scottish with a stern challenge. Esher certainly perceives the match on Saturday as significant and considers it as a double pointer match. Scottish on the other hand will go into this match quietly confident that they can do the double over their close rivals and take another step towards achieving as many wins as possible, as the regular season draws to a conclusion.

Saturday also sees the start of the Six Nations tournament, with the opening fixtures pitting the Auld Enemy against one another at Murrayfield. All at London Scottish wish our national side all the best for the tournament and congratulate former London Scottish player Max Evans on his latest selection for Scotland. With a 5pm kick off, those Scottish supporters at the match will be able to catch the game, which is being shown in the Esher clubhouse It is anticipated that there will be a large Scottish turn out on Saturday with the close proximity of the game and the team and coaching staff all appreciate the support provided from the side lines. Let's hear the Scottish roar go up on Saturday. Scottish supporters making the trip and are driving to the game they should enter the post code KT12 3PF into their Sat Navs, which should take you straight to the ground. For the non-techies they should leave the M25 at junction 10 onto the A3 towards London. After approximately 1 mile turn left onto the A245 and after a further ¼ of a mile turn right at the traffic lights on the B365, Continue on this road until you reach a small roundabout and turn right into Burwood Road. Follow this into Hersham Village, bearing right into Molesey Road. Keep straight on at the large roundabout, under the railway bridge at Hersham Station and the ground is 300 yards on the left. Those travelling by train should catch a train from Richmond, changing at Clapham junction for Hersham Station. This journey will take just over half an hour. Those wishing to have a pint in a local hostelry prior to arriving at the ground, should consider trying the Old House at Home public house which is close to Hersham Railway station. Enjoy the game and see you all there.

C’mon Scottish.
 

Esher 24 – 14 London Scottish

Esher 24 – 14 London Scottish

On a bitterly cold day with the temperature barely rising above zero degrees, London Scottish lost out 24 - 14 against their local rivals Esher. Scottish took a 14 - 3 half time lead, but Esher came back strongly in the second half to record only their second victory of the season.

On a bitterly cold day with the temperature barely rising above zero degrees, London Scottish lost out 24 – 14 against their local rivals Esher. Scottish took a 14 – 3 half time lead, but Esher came back strongly in the second half to record only their second victory of the season.

With this match being re-scheduled from last Saturday due to adverse weather conditions, this fixture was one of only a handful that escaped the freezing weather and the Esher club should be commended for their efforts which ensured that the game went ahead.  London Scottish made a number of changes to their starting line up, with John Bordiss returning to the full back slot, Josh Brown at second row and Charlie Hayter in the centres.

MPU

Esher kicked off playing towards the club house end of the ground.  In the opening phases of the game the Esher forwards saw plenty of the ball, as they constantly re-cycled the ball.  The Scottish defence held firm during this period of the game.  On 10 minutes, Esher was awarded a penalty just outside the Scottish 22 metre area for a scrum offence.  Flanker Peter Synnott took the penalty and converted to give the home side an early lead.  Scottish slowly began playing themselves into the game and following a very good charge down in the Esher 22 metre area continued a sustained period of pressure, until the play petered out after Scottish knocked on 15 metres out immediately in front of the posts.  Esher relieved the pressure by kicking for touch through fly half Mark Atkinson, taking play up to the half way line.

Just before the half hour mark, Scottish was awarded a penalty just beyond the Esher 10 metre line for holding on in the tackle.  Fly half James Brown took the penalty conversion attempt, but pulled his kick to the left of the posts.  The first try of the match came through centre Ryan Western on the 31st minute.  Scottish created an overlap as the ball was passed through backs hands out to Western on the wing.  Western made distance down the wing and side stepped round the Esher winger Seb Stegman to touch down 15 metres in from the touch flag.  Brown converted to put Scottish 7 – 3 up.  On the 36th minute Scottish threatened again down the left flank with winger Gerard Mullen closing in on the Esher try line.  Flanker Sam Stitcher in the covering Esher defence deliberately killed the ball preventing quick Scottish defence and was yellow carded and dispatched to the sidelines for 10 minutes.  Scottish  immediately took advantage from their numerical advantage and following a couple of scrums 5 metres out, the Scottish pack drove the home side over their try line with number 8 Mark Bright touching down.  Brown converted to put Scottish ahead 14 -3.  The referee blew for half time shortly after.

At the start of the second half Scottish opened the more brightly and immediately took play deep into the Esher 22 metre area.  The Scottish team constantly switched play between the backs and forwards and for the first 10 minutes of the half, the Scottish side were camped close to the Esher try line.  The Scottish forwards re-cycled the ball driving towards, but full credit to the Esher defence which held firm throughout this period of the game and turned the ball over, or the Scottish forwards knocked on at crucial moments.  Esher came back into the game on the 51st minute when winger Phil McKenzie scored a very good try when he came in off his wing and cut through the Scottish defence.  Flanker Synnott converted to leave the score line 10 – 14.  Shortly after Scottish was awarded a penalty on the half way line for Esher crossing, and again took play deep into the Esher 22 metre area.  Scottish repeated their earlier period of pressure on the Esher try line, however again could not cross the line, as a resolute Esher defence held firm.

With 10 minutes remaining on the clock, Esher took the lead again through MacKenzie who scored his second try out wide after some good backs play.  Their backs moved the ball from deep through Atkinson and as the Scottish defence tried to close MacKenzie down when he closed in on the try line, Bordiss and Mullen clashed heads in the tackle allowing him to touch down in the corner.  Synnott converted to put Esher 17 – 14 in front.  Both Bordiss and Mullen went off to receive medical treatment.  Shortly before the final whistle, Esher put the finishing touches to their win when Synnott again scored out wide, converting  his own try to leave the final score 24 – 14.

For Scottish there will be many lessons to take from this loss.  The forwards performance was again tremendous with their play in the loose of the highest quality. The backs also had their moments in the game, however the side must eliminate the unforced errors, which will clearly reduce the amount of turnover balls conceded.  No doubt the squad will re-group in the coming week as they prepare ahead for the final home fixture of the regular season with London Welsh next Sunday.  Please look out for the match preview later in the week.

Alastair McLaggan selected John Bordiss for the Jock Meikle sponsored away supporters Man of the Match award

 

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