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Irish Win Battle of the Exiles in 9-Try Thriller

Irish Win Battle of the Exiles in 9-Try Thriller

After back to back wins over Jersey & Bedford respectively, London Scottish were in-form & looking to come out on top in a battle of the Exiles in Richmond, South West London. London Irish have won all four of their games so far this season though, and came to the Athletic ground expecting to make it 5 in a row in front of their huge travelling fan base.

On a dry, chilly afternoon in Richmond in front of a crowd of 2,321, Irish were first to get on the score sheet. With 5 minutes played, Irish prodded and probed the Scots defence, and after a dozen phases the defence had been pulled in tight to the ruck. Meehan, who was superb all half, sent the ball wide where it found Parton on the wing to score in the corner. Myler converted from a tight angle, Scottish 0-7 Irish.

Scottish answered right back through Bright. A huge carry from Stevenson dragged Scottish into the Irish 22. The ball was recycled, and Scottish drove their way over the defence up to the try line; from the back of a ruck, captain Bright spotted space and dived for the line. Jennings converted easily, Scottish 7-7 Irish with just ten minutes played.

Though Scottish looked good in attack and put some nice phases together, the Irish defence was utterly solid and the rest of the half was almost all Irish. Just a couple of minutes after Scottish scored, Irish were awarded a 5m scrum. From the back, Meehan sent the ball wide, this time to Macken, who had enough space on the wing to score in the corner. Myler added the two, Scottish 7-14 Irish.

On the 19th minute, Scottish were under all sorts of pressure. Scottish pushed Irish into touch on the 5m line, but lost their own line out. Irish moved the ball through the hands to Campbell, who was bundled over the line. Myler converted, Scottish 7-21 Irish.

Jennings kept the scoreboard ticking over for Scottish with a penalty on the 24th minute, Scottish 10-21 Irish.

Another scrum, and another try for Irish. Meehan & Myler were controlling the game, and from the back of a scrum, pinged the ball wide to McLean to score. Another conversion from Myler, LSFC 10-28 Irish.

MPU

Not much came in the final 10 minutes, until on the stroke of halftime, Scottish’s passing let them down. Irish scooped the ball up and attacked. Irish went through a lot of phases, but it felt inevitable that they would score. Rogerson crossed the whitewash with the ball, and Myler converted for a fifth time in the first half. Half time score, Scottish 10-35 Irish.

The second half was much like the first, though Scottish put together good phases of play, it was Irish who kept scoring. Scottish put huge pressure on the Irish defence, but they couldn’t get through or around it in the opening 10 minutes.

Uanivi saw yellow on the 53rd minute, and Irish capitalised on that advantage. From a 5m line out, the catch & drive rumbled towards the line, and a few phases later Treviranus crossed to score. Myler converted again, to make it Scottish 10-42 Irish.

Ten minutes later Irish scored again, another 5m line out resulted in a catch & drive which powered its way to the line. Fainga’a the man with the ball as they crossed. Myler had come off so McKibbin was on kicking duties and he sent the ball well wide. Scottish 10-47 Irish with 14 minutes left to play.

Scottish continued to attack and were rewarded on the 70th minute; from deep in their own half Smith carved through the Irish defence, and was tackled inches short. Hart was there and tried to recycle the ball but McKibbin cynically smacked the ball to the floor. McKibbin saw yellow & from the resulting scrum, Scottish worked the ball wide to Veratau who scored. Jennings converted, Scottish 17-47 Irish.

There was still time for one more score from Irish, on the 80th minute Irish had worked their way up to the 5m line. A number of pick & go’s later & Hoskins crossed the line. Converted by Meehan, full time score: Scottish 17-54 Irish.

Without doubt Scottish did not play at their best, but you have to applaud London Irish for their resilience in defence and their variety of attack. Of the Scottish team, great performances again from Bright, Stevenson, Tyas, and Smith.

London Scottish Brodley; Harding; Palframan; Hodge; Uanivi; Tyas; Wynne; Bright (c); Hoadley; Jennings; Stevenson; Mosses; Duncan; Ingall; Smith // Replacements: Saunders; Litchfiled; Cringle; Frost; Hart; Perry; Veratau

Tries Bright; Veratau

Conversion(s) Jennings (x2)

Penalties Jennings

Yellow Card Uanivi

 

London Irish Reid; Fainga’a; Cilliers; McNally (c); De Chaves; Schatz; Cowan; Rogerson; Meehan; Myler; McLean; Campbell; Macken; Loader; Parton // Replacements: Porecki; Hobbs-Awoyemi; Hoskins; Maddison; Treviranus; McKibbin; Mulchrone

Tries Parton; Macken; Campbell; McLean; Rogerson; Treviranus; Fainga’a

Conversion(s) Myler (x6); Meehan

Penalties

Yellow Card McKibbin

 

Referee(s) K. Dickson; P. Watters; S. McConnell; R. Bourke

Attendance 2,321

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