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Positive start to British & Irish Cup for Scottish

Positive start to British & Irish Cup for Scottish

London Scottish Dan George score TRY for London Scottish during the British & Irish Cup match between London Scottish Football Club and Dragons Premiership Select at Richmond Athletic Ground, Richmond, United Kingdom on 14 October 2017. Photo by Leila Coker / PRiME Media Images.

On a lovely, bright, and warm autumnal afternoon in Richmond, London Scottish welcomed the Dragons Premier Select from Newport, Wales for their opening group game of the British and Irish Cup.

After a bruising encounter in the Championship away to Bristol last weekend, a handful of the first team players were being rested, providing an opportunity for some of the other exciting, and promising players in the squad to get some game time against an experienced Dragons side which included the former Stade Francais & Wasps scrum half Charlie Davies, exciting Welsh U20 International Barney Nightingale, and former Wales U20 and Cardiff Blues back-rower James Sheekey.

MPU

The Dragons wasted no time in making their presence felt at The Athletic Ground, and in the first four minutes, forced their way up to the Scottish five metre line. The ball found its way into the hands of Matthews, who smashed his way over the whitewash to open the scoring. The conversion by Jones, gave the Dragons a 7-0 lead.

The Dragons enjoyed a lot more possession, and they made their pressure count; Scottish were penalised for holding on in the tackle, so Jones added three more points to the score.

Scottish were able to put some nice phases together; huge carries from Rob Stevenson, who was making his debut at The Athletic Ground, and Matt Eliet put their team on the front foot, but they were not able to capitalise.

Another penalty against Scottish meant Jones could extend the Dragons lead even further, and after 22 minutes, they led 13-0.

A mixed bag of play for the next ten or so minutes came to and end, when Coombes went up for a high ball, and was taken out in the air by Dyer. After a brief consultation with the assistant, the ref gave Dyer his Yellow card. From their, Scottish used a rolling maul to travel neatly 30m, but it was pulled down illegally 5m from the tryline.

From the ensuring penalty, the ball was worked wide to Stevenson, who beat the last defender to score. Half Time 5-13.

The second half started with a bang; whatever was said to the Scottish team, it worked. Stevenson & American Eagle, Dino Waldren, attacking the Dragons defensive line with some huge carries. Scottish applied a huge amount of pressure on the Dragons defence, and it finally paid off when Appiah was driven over the line to score.

The catch & drive was a strong set-piece for Scottish, and their skill and power was rewarded when Waldren smashed over the line to score, to take Scottish to a 19-13 lead, with Strang’s conversion.

The scrum in the second half is something the Scottish players can be chuffed with, the Dragons were not in it at all, and the Scottish front line used it as an effective way to win a number of penalties in the second half.

However, the Dragons were not out of this yet; out of nothing, a very smart grubber kick from Jones opened up the Scottish defence, and Smith was the first to dive on it to score. Jones added the conversion to give them back the lead; 19-20.

A smartly taken penalty from Strang gave Scottish back the lead, and on the 76th minute, the lead and the win was secured, when a catch and drive from a line out was powered over the tryline again, this time in the hands of player-coach Dan George. Full time, London Scottish 27-20 Dragons Premiership Select.

Man of the Match Chris Walker

London Scottish Appiah; Austin; Waldren; Baillie; Gillanders; Walker (c); Marley; Eliet; Hoadley; Strang; Lyle; Neal; Stevenson; Coombes; Ingall // Replacements: George; Onyeama Christie; G. Smith; Uanivi; Berry; Barton; JL. Smith

Tries Stevenson, Appiah, Waldren; George

Conversion Strang (x2)

Penalty Strang

Dragons Premiership Select Prosser; Fricker; Smith; Nightingale; Dyer; Jones; Davis (c); Price; Shipp; Bale; Andrews; Randall; Roach; Matthews; Sheekey // Replacements: Rees; Lavender; Harris; Skinner; Hudd; Leadbetter; Goodchild

Tries Scott; Smith

Conversion Jones (x2)

Penalty Jones(x2)

Referee Rob O’Sullivan

Attendance 808

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