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Leeds Carnegie Ne’er’s Day Match Preview

Leeds Carnegie Ne’er’s Day Match Preview

London Scottish opens 2012 with a challenging and tough away fixture at Leeds Carnegie on New Year's Day, with a kick off at 3pm. Scottish will be making their first ever visit to the Headingley-Carnegie stadium and go into this match quietly confident that they can achieve their second away victory of the season. In recent matches the team have began to build up a winning mentality and will be looking to build on their recent successes.

London Scottish opens 2012 with a challenging and tough away fixture at Leeds Carnegie on New Year’s Day, with a kick off at 3pm. Scottish will be making their first ever visit to the Headingley-Carnegie stadium and go into this match quietly confident that they can achieve their second away victory of the season. In recent matches the team have began to build up a winning mentality and will be looking to build on their recent successes.

Fresh from their Boxing Day away success at Moseley, London Scottish will be looking to back this up with another win at the home of the former Premiership team Leeds Carnegie.  Since the teams last met at the start of October, Leeds have gone on a near impeccable winning streak, with the only blemishes being a 33 -19 loss away at Bristol and their 9 all draw at Doncaster on Boxing Day.  To highlight how difficult the challenge facing Scottish is on New Year’s Day, Leeds has only lost two fixtures at home all season; to London Welsh on the opening day of the season, and a surprising defeat by Doncaster Knights, again at the start of October.  Leeds has one of the brightest young Head Coaches in the league in Diccon Edwards who has a strong reputation for developing good talent at the club.  Prior to taking up his post he held a position of National Academy Coach and assistant England U20 coach.  Before this, he was Academy manager at Leeds, succeeding Stuart Lancaster the former Scotland U19 player who is now the Head Coach of England.  This will mean that the 2012 Calcutta Cup match in February will now have both coaches who have represented their opposition’s country, which must be a record of some sorts.

MPU

In the reverse fixture at Richmond, Leeds came out on top 16 – 23 in a tight and highly contested match.  Their club captain Andy Titterrall was badly injured in this match, however he has subsequently recovered and has recently gone out on loan to Sale Sharks until the end of January 2012, with scrum half Will Cliff and centre Jordan Davies moving in the opposite direction.  Leeds this week signed George Ford the England U20 fly half on dual registration from Leicester Tigers, who will make his debut in the forth coming match.  Since the loss to Leeds in October, the Scottish coaching team have been slowly but surely developing the squad with a number of players joining since this defeat.  The Scottish backline has been especially affected by the changes and if you do a player by player comparison between the Leeds October starting line up and the one that started against Moseley, it is clear that Scottish have been building a potent attacking threat in the backs.  Players such as winger Agustin Gosio and flanker Adam Kleeburger who are now at the club have provided a streetwise nous that was maybe absent earlier in the season and this experience is clearly rubbing off onto the younger players in side.

It is traditional at this time of the year that we look back over the events which have been a year in the life of London Scottish.  At this time last year Scottish were in the middle of a Christmas & New Year break for the National leagues.  The team had recovered from their early season losses and was embarking on their undefeated run of league matches, which culminated in the win at Barking in the final match of the league campaign.  No one at Scottish will ever forget the euphoria and scenes of celebration which followed the match.  This was followed by a well earned break over the summer and Championship rugby to look forward to.  The season so far could almost be summed up as nearly there, but much to look forward to for the remainder of the season in 2012.

For the hardy Scottish supporters making the journey up for the game and are going by train, they should note that trains depart Kings Cross on the hour or the half hour to Leeds.  The on the hour trains are direct, with the on the half hour ones requiring a change at York.  The Journey times by train are 2 hours 26 minutes and 2 hours 38 minutes respectfully.  Those driving and should enter the post code LS6 3BR into their SatNav which will take you to the ground in Headingley.  For the non-techies they should take the M1 and follow signs for the M621 leaving at junction 2 sign posted Headingley Carnegie Stadium.  Then take the A643 (A58) Wetherby Road and at the next roundabout take the City Centre A58 exit.  Almost immediately take the Ilkley A65 road.  At the traffic lights with TGI Fridays on your left turn left into Kirkstall Road.  Follow this road for approximately seven and half miles until the Yorkshire Television studios are on your right.  There will be a sign at the traffic lights showing Headingley in another one and half miles.  Stay in the right hand lane and turn right and go up a hill until you reach another set of traffic lights at a crossroads.  Carry straight on up Cardigan Road, with a Co-op on your left.  After a set of pedestrian lights and bus stop turn left into St Michaels Lane sign posted Headingley Stadium and the ground is on your left hand side.  Please note that there is limited parking at the stadium.

 Sundays match will be another challenging game for Scottish and with Leeds recent record, especially at home the Leeds side will go into this match as clear favourites.  Scottish always relish an opportunity to upset the apple cart and one thing is for sure that the team will be determined to come away with the spoils in the opening game of 2012. Have a great Hogmanay and wishing all where ever you may be a Happy New Year.  Enjoy the game and see you all there.

Leeds 19 – 17 London Scottish

Leeds 19 – 17 London Scottish

London Scottish put in a fantastic performance at Leeds Carnegie going down with the last kick of the match 19 - 17. Scottish led at half time 10 - 11 through a Dan Mugford charged down try and two penalties. Leeds points came through a try and the boot of full back Tommy Bell. In heavy conditions, the Scottish pack dominated their opposite numbers in the loose and in the scrum. Sadly the match was delayed for a prolonged period, as the medical staff dealt with a serious injury to Scottish flanker Anthony Andrews.

London Scottish put in a fantastic performance at Leeds Carnegie going down with the last kick of the match 19 – 17. Scottish led at half time 10 – 11 through a Dan Mugford charged down try and two penalties. Leeds points came through a try and the boot of full back Tommy Bell. In heavy conditions, the Scottish pack dominated their opposite numbers in the loose and in the scrum. Sadly the match was delayed for a prolonged period, as the medical staff dealt with a serious injury to Scottish flanker Anthony Andrews.

In the preceding two hours before the start of the match the Yorkshire clouds opened up, leaving the Headingley Stadium in a very heavy condition with rain continuing throughout the match. Scottish made two changes to their starting fifteen, with prop Anthony Kent and second row Alex Karonias coming into the side.  Leeds Carnegie kicked off, and from the start they used the tactic of kicking deep to keep Scottish on the back foot.  In the opening minutes the Leeds backs produced a great kick deep into the away sides 22 metre, but a quick line out and a relieving kick by fly half Dan Mugford pushed the play up to the 10 metre line.

MPU

The Scottish backs made their first good move on the 10th minute when they broke through the Leeds back line, however the home side’s covering defence was caught offside by the match officials on their 10 metre line.  Mugford converted to give Scottish an early lead.  From the re-start the Leeds fly half Joe Ford kicked the ball straight out on the full.  The Scottish pack put a tremendous shove on the scrum forcing the Leeds pack to deliberately collapse the scrum.  From the penalty Mugford converted to put Scottish 0 – 6 ahead.  On the 15th minute Leeds reduced the lead when full back Tommy Bell scored from a penalty at the scrum.  The opening quarter was very scrappy from both sides; however the dreadful weather conditions were hardly helping.

On the 23rd minute a full scale melee took place on the pitch involving virtually all of the players.  The referee subsequently yellow carded Scottish second row Josh Brown to spend the next 10 minutes on the sidelines.  Leeds was also awarded a penalty with Bell missing.  A short time later Scottish was awarded a penalty for Leeds not rolling away from a ruck.  The away side opted to kick for the corner.  From the lineout the Scottish pack caught and drove the Leeds pack back through a series of rolling mauls.  The referee awarded a penalty to Scottish as the Leeds second row Tom Denton deliberately pulled down the rolling maul as it moved to within 10 metres of the Leeds try line.  Denton was shown a yellow card.  Mugford took the penalty attempt, but pushed his kick to the left of the posts.

On the half hour mark Scottish increased their lead when Mugford cleverly charged down a Leeds clearance kick in their 22 metre area.  He hacked the ball through and touched down in the corner.  The referee consulted his assistant referee, before confirming the try.  Mugford missed his conversion attempt to put Scottish 3 – 11 ahead.  On the 36rd minute Leeds scored a very good try through their backs. The ball was quickly moved through hands with Bell joining the line and then giving a dumpy pass out wide to cut inside the Scottish defence and score in the corner. Bell converted his try to reduce the score to 8 – 11.  Just before the halftime whistle Scottish were penalised for a ruck offence on their 10 metre line.  Bell reduced the score further, leaving a half time score of 10 – 11.

Scottish mad a tactical change at half time, bringing on former Scotland A player Mark Robertson to replace centre Ben McDougall.  Scottish started the second half the more lively of the sides and took play to the home side.  The first 10 minutes of the second half were played exclusively in the Leeds half.  Scottish made a great catch and drive in the Leeds 22 metre area, however a handling error 5 metres short of the try line prevented a further Scottish try.  The backs also got in on the show with a very good move involving Robertson with winger Agustin Gosio passing out to winger Ryan Western on an overlap.  Western was held up 5 metres short and the away side were penalised for holding on.  Leeds took the lead for the first time in the match on the 51st minute when Scottish were penalised for illegally coming through at the ruck.  Bell converted to leave the scores 13 – 11.

Shortly later the Leeds scrum half Will Cliff made a half break just inside the Scottish half, however the referee was aware of a serious injury to flanker Anthony Andrews and halted play immediately.  (As the referee stopped play, and in reaction to this, it was very disturbing and saddening to hear a series of comments being made relating to the wellbeing of the injured Scottish player, which has no place in rugby or any other sport for that matter. Yes, things are said in the heat of the moment, but it is hoped that the individual concerned reflects on his unwarranted comments and has taken the appropriate action).  Play was held up for a considerable period of time as the medical teams from both sides dealt with the injury.  Sadly Andrews suffered a dislocated knee and all at Scottish wishing you a speedy recovery.

Replacement flanker Ben Lonergan came on, and on the hour mark Scottish was awarded a penalty as the Leeds pack collapsed the scrum on their 10 metre line.  Mugford converted to put Scottish back in the driving seat leading 13 – 14.  Five minutes later the home side were back in front, as Scottish conceded a penalty at the line out with Bell converting to put Leeds ahead 16 – 14.  With 10 minutes remaining Scottish were awarded a penalty; however the home side were forced to concede a further 10 metres, as a result of the actions of one of the Leeds players.  This penalty clearly upset the home crowd, who then showed their displeasure by shouting and booing whilst Mugford converted the penalty to put Scottish in front 16 – 17.

Leeds was not finished yet and was awarded a penalty just before the final whistle.  They kicked to the corner and from the lineout Scottish were penalised.  Bell took the penalty from 5 metres in from the touch line and gave the home side the winning points as the referee blew for the end of the match.  At the final whistle the disappointment on the faces of the Scottish players was clear for all, but the players must be congratulated for another tremendous performance by the whole of the Scottish side, in dreadful weather conditions.  The team now return to Richmond next weekend for a home fixture against Plymouth Albion.  Look out for the preview later in the week.

Willie Lipp was awarded the Jock Meikle sponsored away supporters Man of the Match

 

 

 

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