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London Irish move in to top gear to overpower Scottish at the Athletic Ground

London Irish move in to top gear to overpower Scottish at the Athletic Ground

London Scottish were defeated by a ruthless London Irish side, who scored eight tries in a 62-12 victory at the Athletic Ground.

London Scottish were defeated by a ruthless London Irish side, who scored eight tries in a 62-12 victory at the Athletic Ground.

The Scots were up against the league-leaders and the visitors looked hugely impressive as they controlled the match from start to finish. Tries from Peter Lydon and Michael Van Vuuren gave the home fans reason to cheer, but despite the Scots having plenty of possession and creating a number of opportunities, it was Irish who took the win. 


Irish got off to the perfect start in front of the Sky Sports cameras, with a try from David Paice after just three minutes. A penalty was kicked in to the corner, and the prop drove over the line from the rolling maul to score the first try of the afternoon. Tommy Bell’s first of eight conversions with a 100% record from the tee gave them a 7-0 lead.

Brendan McKibbin extended their lead on the 10 minute mark. An unfortunate try to concede saw the ball pinball off a Scottish body in the middle, and allowed the scrum-half to gather the ball and run clear from 30 metres to score the second try of the match. 

Scottish responded instantly with a try from Peter Lydon. The Scots had sustained pressure in the Irish 22, and the Irishman capitalised from five metres out to beat his defender and dive over the line to bring his side back in to the match. 

The Scots nearly went over the line again minutes later. A wide pass from Irish was intercepted by Jason Harries who raced away, but with a lack of support the Welshman headed in-field, and was eventually caught resulting in a turnover.

Despite the Scottish pressure it was the visitors who extended their lead, with a brilliant individual try from Joe Cokanasiga. The winger who was making his debut got the ball inside his own half, and threw a dummy which allowed him to break the line of defence and show impressive pace to score from 60 metres. 

Scottish had another chance to get back in to the match after a break from Robbie Fergusson on the right wing found Jamie Stevenson, but the scrum-half's offload to Paddy Kelly was knocked-on with the try-line in sight. 

Bell kicked two penalties in quick succession to extend their lead to 27-5, and there was still time for one more try before the break. Irish had a five-metre scrum and recycled the ball which was spun out wide, and Bell was there to run the ball in from close range. His conversion gave his side a 34-5 half-time lead in front of 2339 at the Athletic Ground. 

The Scots played the majority of the rugby in the opening stages of the second-half and created a number of chances, but the Irish defence held firm and the clinical visitors then scored their attacking class in the final quarter of the match.

Aseli Tikoirotuma was the beneficiary of a dropped ball in the Scottish 22 to get an easy run-in for a try, and Fergusson was then sent to the sin bin as the Scots were forced to play with 14 men. 

Scott Steele scored Irish’s sixth try on 68 minutes after a quick-tap penalty saw him score in the corner, and that was quickly followed by another try from Blair Cowan, whose powerful run from outside the 22 saw him score under the posts. 

Tommy Bell then rounded off the Irish scoring with a try on 78 minutes. The full-back raced clear from half-way after another turnover and his conversion took his personal tally for the afternoon to 32 points. 

Michael van Vuuren scored a consolation try for the Scots in the final minutes. The hooker, who is on loan from Bath drove over the line from a rolling maul, and Lydon’s touchline conversion made the final score 12-62. 

The Scots now face another tough match when they travel to face Doncaster Knights next Saturday at Castle Park in round eight of the Greene King IPA Championship. 

London Scottish: 
15 Peter Lydon 14 Craig Holland 13 Robbie Fergusson (replaced by Alec Coombes) 12 Patrick Kelly 11 Jason Harries 10 Harry Sheppard 9 Jamie Stevenson (replaced by Ed Hoadley) 1 Jonny Harris (replaced by Grant Shiells) 2 David Cherry (replaced by Michael van Vuuren) 3 Ewan McQuillin (replaced by Dan Koroi) 4 Rory Battle (c) 5 Neale Patrick 6 Danny Kenny 7 Joe Atkinson 8 Ally Miller

16 Michael van Vuuren 17 Grant Shiells 18 Dan Koroi 19 Alex Humfrey 20 Matt Marley 21 Ed Hoadley 22 Alec Coombes 

Peter Lydon (15 minutes) Michael Van Vuuren (79 minutes)
Conversion: Peter Lydon (79 minutes)
Yellow Card: Robbie Fergusson

London Irish: 
15 Tommy Bell, 14 Joe Cokanasiga, 13 Aseli Tikoirotuma, 11 Ben Ransom, 10 James Marshall, 9 Brendan McKibbin, 1 Tom Court, 2 David Paice (c), 3 Ben Franks, 4 George Robson, 5 Sebastien De Chaves, 6 Conor Gilsenan, 7 Blair Cowan, 8 Ofisa Treviranus

16 Jason Harris-Wright, 17 Harry Elrington, 18 Richard Palframan, 19 Will Lloyd, 20 Senitiki Nayalo, 21 Scott Steele, 22 Topsy Ojo

David Paice (3 minutes) Brendan McKibbin (10 minutes) Joe Cokanasiga (23 minutes) Tommy Bell (40, 78 minutes) Aseli Tikoirotuma (59 minutes) Scott Steele (69 minutes) Blair Cowan (73 minutes)
Conversions: Tommy Bell (3, 10, 23, 40, 59, 69, 73, 78 minutes)
Penalties: Tommy Bell (32, 35 minutes)

Christophe Ridley
Assistant Referees: Clare Daniels & Gareth Copsey 
Fourth Official: Dean Richards
Television Match Official: Keith Lewis

Half-Time Score: London Scottish 5 – 34 London Irish

Attendance: 2339

Man of the Match: Craig Holland

Watch post-match reaction from Forwards Coach John Dalziel and highlights below: 


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