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Lacklustre Scots beaten by Jersey at the Athletic Ground

Lacklustre Scots beaten by Jersey at the Athletic Ground

London Scottish fell to a disappointing 13-22 defeat against Jersey Reds after a poor performance saw their hopes of qualification in the British and Irish Cup take a dent.

London Scottish fell to a disappointing 13-22 defeat against Jersey Reds after a poor performance saw their hopes of qualification in the British and Irish Cup take a dent.

The Scots struggled to reach the levels of recent weeks and despite leading until the 65th minute, a late rally from the Reds ensured that they left the Athletic Ground with a crucial victory that throws Pool One wide open. 

MPU

Jersey got off to quick start and took the lead on the 10 minute mark. A five metre line out allowed their forwards to maul their way to the line, and Joe Buckle was able to dot down to score. Sam Katz converted to give his side a 7-0 advantage. 

The visitors had the upper hand in the scrum all afternoon and with Sami Fisilau pinning the Scots back with a number of box kicks, Scottish were finding it difficult to create any try-scoring opportunities. 

The Scots scored their first try of the match after 25 minutes, with a brilliant team try. Pete Lydon’s grubber kick was gained by Robbie Fergusson who offloaded to Jason Harries. The Welshman made some yards and then was hauled down, but the ball was recycled and spun out to the wing where Alec Coombes was gratefully waiting to score in the corner. The conversion went just wide, but the Scots now trailed by just two points. 

Kuki Ma’afu was sent to the sin-bin on the half-hour mark for a high tackle and Lydon took full advantage from the penalty, kicking the Scots in to an 8-7 lead. 

Grant Shiells was then also given a yellow card as the Scottish scrum continued to struggle, but the Scots survived and went in at the break with a one-point advantage. 

Jersey had a golden chance in the opening minutes of the second-half, but an overlap with three men waiting on the left-hand side as fumbled and the Scots could breathe a sigh of relief. 

Alec Coombes then scored his second try of the afternoon to put his side in the driving side. A penalty in the 22 was taken quickly by Ed Hoadley, and then the ball went through the hands to allow Coombes to dive over in the corner again. The conversion went wide, and then Katz kicked a penalty shortly afterwards to cut the gap to 13-10. 

Scottish then emptied their bench in attempt to search for the intensity needed, but Jersey took the lead with 15 minutes remaining. Another rolling maul gave them the platform, and it was Gary Graham this time that drove over the line. Katz succeeded with the conversion to give the Channel Islanders a 17-13 lead. 

The Scots nearly responded when a Fergusson grubber kick was fumbled as a number of Scottish backs looked to bounce, but Hardy was eventually able to clear the danger as time started to run out. 

Scottish had one last chance with a 22 drop-out knowing that they needed to to go the length of the pitch, but a pass was dropped which allowed Kuki Ma’afu to gather the ball and run clear to dive over the line. The conversion went wide, but Jersey had crucially denied their opponents a losing bonus-point, and a 22-13 victory.

The Scots travel to Jersey next weekend to face them in the return fixture at St Peter’s on Friday night, knowing that they’ll need a win to re-ignite their British and Irish Cup campaign. 

London Scottish: 
15 Peter Lydon 14 Alec Coombes 13 Robbie Fergusson 12 Patrick Kelly (replaced by Tom Galbraith, 62 mins) 11 Jason Harries 10 Harry Sheppard 9 Ed Hoadley 1 Grant Shiells (replaced by Jonny Harris, 57 mins) 2 David Cherry (replaced by George Turner, 40 mins) 3 Ewan McQuillin (replaced by Dan Koroi, 57 mins) 4 Rory Bartle (c) 5 Neale Patrick (replaced by Callum Hunter Hill (57 mins) 6 Ally Miller 7 Danny Kenny (replaced by Joe Atkinson, 57 mins) 8 Ifereimi Boladau

Replacements: 
16 George Turner 17 Jonny Harris 18 Dan Koroi 19 Callum Hunter Hill 20 Joe Atkinson 21 Craig Holland 22 Tom Galbraith 

Scorers:
Tries: Alec Coombes (24, 51 minutes)
Penalties: Peter Lydon (30 minutes) 
Yellow Card: Grant Shiells 

Jersey Reds: 
15 Sam Katz 14 George Watkins 13 Jack Cuthbert 12 Kuki Ma’afu 11 Kieran Hardy 10 James McKinney (replaced by Conor Dolan, 26 mins) 9 Sami Fisilau 1 Sean McCarthy 2 Joe Buckle (c) 3 Mark Tampin 4 Nick Campbell 5 Dave McKern 6 Gary Graham 7 James Doyle 8 Max Argyle

Replacements:
16 Jack Macfarlane 17 Jake Woolmore 18 Jake Armstrong 19 Uili Kolo’ofa'i 20 Nick Haining 21 Joel Dudley 22 Conor Dolan

Scorers:
Tries: Joe Buckle (9 minutes) Gary Graham (66 minutes) Kuki Ma’afu (79 minutes)
Conversions: Sam Katz (9, 66 minutes)
Penalties: Sam Katz (55 minutes)
Yellow Card: Kuki Ma’afu

Officials: 
Referee: Jonny Erskine 
Assistant Referees: Greg Garner & Daniel Parrott
Fourth Official: Simon Dodd

Man of the match: Alec Coombes

Attendance: 947

Half Time Score: London Scottish 8 – 7 Jersey Reds 

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