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Plymouth Preview – Kick off: Saturday, 3pm

Plymouth Preview – Kick off: Saturday, 3pm

London Scottish returns to home soil this coming weekend after their two away fixtures over the holiday period, when they entertain Plymouth Albion. Scottish will be looking to take the points in the match which pits two sides who are currently in the relegation threatened places in the league table. Plymouth has been through a difficult week which saw their coaching team leave them due to financial challenges at the club.

London Scottish returns to home soil this coming weekend after their two away fixtures over the holiday period, when they entertain Plymouth Albion. Scottish will be looking to take the points in the match which pits two sides who are currently in the relegation threatened places in the league table. Plymouth has been through a difficult week which saw their coaching team leave them due to financial challenges at the club.

The match on Saturday will be a significant challenge for both sides for very differing reasons. Scottish will be looking to bounce back after their narrow loss at Leeds Carnegie with the last kick of the game, whilst Plymouth go into the match at the back of a week, which has seen a dramatic change in their coaching team as a result of funding issues at the club. Pete Drewitt took over as Head coach at the end of November last year from the club’s long standing Head Coach Graham Dawes and was joined by the former London Welsh Head Coach Phil Greening. In the short time that the pair was at the club, they were beginning to turn the club fortunes around, which culminated in their home victory against Doncaster Knights 18 -6 on the 30th December. The joy and ecstasy which followed this match was short lived as the turmoil surrounding the events of this week unfolded.

MPU

In the reverse fixture at the Brickfields Stadium in mid October Scottish again suffered a dramatic loss with Plymouth scoring their winning try in the 9th minute of injury time. It was during this match the Scottish number 8 Mark Bright suffer an injury and it will be good to see Mark back on the pitch in the coming weeks. The Scottish points in this game were scored through an Ollie Grove try, converted by Dan Mugford and five Mugford penalties. Again the Scottish backline will take on a completely new look from the reverse fixture and the backs are warming up nicely to ensure that Scottish gain revenge for their last minute loss. The pack will see at least one change in personnel following the injury to Anthony Andrews against Leeds; however the forwards who have come into the side have fitted in well. A prime example of this is former Scotland U20 prop Anthony Kent, who made his Championship full debut against Leeds on New Year’s Day.

The Plymouth side have been boosted recently with their new loan signing Paul Roberts who was brought to the club by Drewitt joining from Bath, and who is currently filling the fly half role. Scottish will need to minimise the number of penalties conceded in this match, as Plymouth have one of the most prolific points scorers in the Championship with full back James Love. Love is currently third in the leading point’s scorers for the season and has amassed 190 points through 2 tries, 46 penalties and 21 conversions. In fact, Love has scored the second highest number of penalty conversions in the league, behind Rotherham Titans’ Garry Law who has 54 penalties to his name. Our very own Adam Kleeburger will be able to shine some light on some of the Plymouth players, as he will be in direct opposition to his fellow Canadian International team mates; flanker Sean Michael Stephen, second row Tyler Hotson and Aaron Carpenter. Those listed less Stephen were all in the Canada World Cup match squad that performed so admirably well in the famous win against Tonga in the recent World Cup pool match. The Plymouth club moved quickly to replace Drewitt and Greening and for the match on Saturday they have appointed long serving former player and member of the previous coaching regime Nat Saumi as the club’s third Head Coach for this season. Fijian Saumi is joined by John Roberts in a new look coaching setup.

Scottish will be taking on the Plymouth side on Saturday when potentially they are at their most unpredictable, due to the off field turmoil the club are currently experiencing. In many cases it motivates a team more and they raised their game and close ranks. Scottish will need to remain totally focused and put in a thoroughly professional performance to achieve the win. For those that missed the away fixtures against Moseley and Leeds, Saturday will be the Scottish home supporters first opportunity to see the home debuts of Kleeberger and Scottish 7s player Mark Robertson, so make sure you all get down to the Richmond Athletic Ground and cheer on the team to victory. Finally, I would like to add my congratulations to our Chairman David Reid on his knighthood in the New Year honours list. Enjoy the game and see you all there. C’mon Scottish.
 

London Scottish 21 – 17 Plymouth Albion

London Scottish 21 – 17 Plymouth Albion

London Scottish secured their third victory in the last four games with a 21 - 17 win against Plymouth Albion. Scottish raced to a 21 -0 half time lead, but Albion came back in the second half with a spirited performance, which led to a nail biting finale. Scottish scored a brace of try's through a debut try by Ryan Western and a penalty try which came from a high tackle on Agustin Gosio as he was about to touch down in the corner.

London Scottish secured their third victory in the last four games with a 21 – 17 win against Plymouth Albion. Scottish raced to a 21 -0 half time lead, but Albion came back in the second half with a spirited performance, which led to a nail biting finale. Scottish scored a brace of try’s through a debut try by Ryan Western and a penalty try which came from a high tackle on Agustin Gosio as he was about to touch down in the corner.

On a sunny but chilly January day, Scottish kicked off playing towards the sports club end of the ground.  The team contained a number of changes, with Scotland 7s player Mark Robertson debuting on the wing and Wasps dual-registered centre Mitchell Tamiau, who is registered with Scottish this season, but broke his ankle in pre-season training starting in the centres.  The other changes saw prop Nic Auterec coming in for Anthony Kent, and flanker Ben Lonergan replacing the injured Anthony Andrews.

MPU

In the opening stages of the match, Scottish took play to the visitors and early in the match second row Alex Karonias found himself out on the right flank with space.  Karonias made great yardage down the flank driving into the Plymouth 22 metre area.  The ball was eventually switched to the backs who then threatened down the opposite flank, however, the referee penalised the Albion side for offside immediately in front of the visitors posts.  Fly half Dan Mugford converted to give Scottish an early lead.  Plymouth immediately came back and the put the Scottish defence under a sustained period of pressure as their forwards re-cycled the ball a number of times, however they knocked on 5 metres short of the Scottish try line.

Scottish scored their first try on the 13th minute when they were awarded a penalty try.  The Scottish backs moved the ball quickly through hands down the right side of the pitch.  As winger Agustin Gosio was about to touch down in the corner the covering Plymouth centre Bevon Armitage high tackled Gosio preventing him from scoring the try.  The referee consulted his assistant referee and awarded a penalty try.  Armitage was yellow carded to spend the required time minutes on the sidelines.  Mugford converted from immediately in front of the posts to put Scottish 10 – 0 ahead.  Plymouth were shortly after awarded a penalty at the scrum and the prolific points scoring full back James Love pulled his first attempt wide of the posts.  As the game moved into the second quarter Scottish began to dominate and was putting the Albion defence under pressure through barn storming runs through players such as hooker Tom Stanfield.  As the Scottish backs were pressing just outside the visitors 22 metre area and were creating an overlap, the Albion centre Keni Fisilau shoulder tackled Tamiau without using his arms, knocking the ball loose. The assistant referee flagged for foul play and Scottish were awarded a penalty with Mugford converting to put the home side 13 – 0 up.  Tamiau went off injured as a result of the tackle.

Just after the half hour mark Scottish scored their second try following a quick tap and go penalty by scrum half Simon Amor.  As he made ground into the Albion half he passed to winger Mark Robertson who continued with the attack and as he closed in on the try line he off loaded to centre Ryan Western who scored in the corner.  Mugford missed the conversion attempt.  Scottish were now clearly in the driving seat and as play moved towards the half time break, Scottish added a further score through a penalty after the away side were penalised for going through illegally at a ruck.  Mugford added to his personal tally by giving Scottish a commanding 21 – 0 half time lead.

Whatever was said to the Albion side at the half time break it certainly worked wonders as they came out for the second half all guns blazing.  Albion reduced the arrears on the 45th minute when Scottish were caught offside deep in their 22 metre area defending a visitors attack.  Love converted.  On the 54th minute Plymouth was pounding away at the Scottish try line through a series of drives off the back of the ruck.  The Scottish defence held firm and the home side were able to turn the ball over and the backs ran the ball through hands with the ball being eventually being kicked down field.  The Albion winger Tyson Lewis knocked on as the chasing Scottish players were closing in on him taking play 60 metres down field.  Plymouth finally got their first try of the match on the 67th minute when following a sustained period of pressure by their forwards on the Scottish try line, replacement prop Luke Dickie-Cowan dived over to score.  Love converted to leave the score 21 – 10.  The away side were clearly sensing blood and scored their second try of the match 6 minutes later when replacement forward Aaron Carpenter scored out wide with Love converting  to reduce the lead to 4 points.

Full credit to the Scottish defence who in the final five minutes of the match resolutely held firm to grind out the victory.  In similar circumstances in other matches this season, Scottish have conceded last minute penalties or try’s denying Scottish other wins, and therefore the team showed tremendous character in achieving this win.  This victory took Scottish above Moseley in the league to 9th position, however more importantly it earned the club another bonus point for the end of season play offs.  In a match, which showcased the best and worst parts of being a London Scottish follower this season, the team can take great heart from the fact that they have now won three out of their last four matches.  Sometimes you just have to win ugly and this was certainly a case in point.  The team is creating momentum and can now look forward to visiting Bedford next weekend.  Look out for the match preview later in the week.

Nic Auterec was awarded the First Cape Wines sponsored Man of the Match award.

To take advantage of our best ever ticket offer for the Nottingham game, click here. Members and Season ticket holders can bring 5 guests for only £10!

 

 

 

 

  

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