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Scots battle to bonus point win over Ponty

Scots battle to bonus point win over Ponty

London Scottish claimed a narrow 26-21 home win over Pontypridd this afternoon to move level on points with the Welsh side at the top of Pool Two in the B&I Cup.

London Scottish claimed a narrow 26-21 home win over Pontypridd this afternoon to move level on points with the Welsh side at the top of Pool Two in the B&I Cup.

A full-blooded encounter played in front of an enthusiastic crowd saw Scottish score four tries which ensured a bonus point.


But Ponty, who never let the hosts settle, scored their third try in the final ten minutes which allowed them to leave London with a losing bonus point and remain top of the pool on points difference.

The home side were dominant in the scrums throughout and it was from a scrum that they got their opening try.

Three consecutive penalties were awarded to James Buckland's side following scrum pressure on Ponty's line, which gave referee Ross Campbell no option but to award a penalty try after nine minutes.

Lee Millar added the simple two points to give Scottish a perfect start.

They continued to dominate the opening exchanges and Millar was unsuccessful with two penalty kicks before Pontypridd hit back in impressive fashion.

A powerful break by outside centre Geraint Walsh pushed the visitors towards the line and when the ball was shipped out by scrum half Tom Williams, lock Craig Locke was on hand to score.

Simon Humberstone's conversion leveled things up on 24 minutes.

It was not long before the Richmond lads regained the lead when a catch and drive near the Ponty line ended with Mark Bright going over from the base of a maul.

Millar pushed his conversion wide and a see-saw half ended with the visitors going over for a converted try to ensure Ponty a narrow 14-12 half-time lead.

A quick line-out caught Scottish napping allowing flanker Tom Young to scamper up the left touchline.

Eventually he was held up just short of the try line but Humberstone was on hand to cross from close range, the stand-off then picking himself up to add the extras.

Before this, a feisty first half had seen both hookers sent to the sin-bin following a minor skirmish involving a handful of players.

Scottish began the second half like the first, putting pressure on Pontypridd from the off.

A penalty against Ponty proved to be one too many again and winger Aled Summerhill was sin-binned for persistent infringement.

From the penalty another catch and drive ended with skipper Bright crossing for his second try in the left corner.

Millar made no mistake with the tricky conversion as London Scottish edged 19-14 in front.

It got better for the hosts soon after when they scored a classic counter-attacking try.

Ponty conceded possession in the Scots 22 and sensing space out wide, the ball went through the hands with full-back Jim Thompson feeding winger Miles Mantella in space.

He had plenty to do but a perfect kick and chase saw him win the race to the line with his opposite number to score.

Again Millar was spot-on with the kick from wide out which put Scottish 26-14 ahead.

Ponty never gave up however and their enterprising brand of rugby was rewarded with a third try nine minutes from time.

This time it was a superb individual effort by impressive flanker Tom Young, who weaved his way past three Scottish defenders to score near the posts.

Humberstone's kick reduced the deficit to five points and despite Scottish pushing to deny the Welsh a losing bonus point, it was not to be as they settled for a 26-21 victory.

– Listen to coach James Buckland's audio interview here.

London Scottish's next B&I Cup game is against London Welsh on January 18 at Richmond Athletic Ground.

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London Scottish

15. Jim Thompson; 14. Peter Homan; 13. Oli Grove; 12. Andy Reay; 11. Miles Mantella; 10. Lee Millar; 9. Sam Stuart; 1. Eric Fry; 2. Adam Kwasnicki; 3. Tomas Francis; 4. Tyler Hotson; 5. David Lyons; 6. Chevvy Pennycook; 7. Tommy Spinks; 8. Mark Bright (c).

Used replacements: 16. Tedd Stagg; 19. Matt Everard; 20. Jordi Pasqualin; 17. Mark Irish; 21. Dan Newton;18. Paul Spivey;

Unused replacements: 22. James Love.

Tries: Penalty Try, Bright (2), Mantella.

Conversions: Millar (3),

Sin-bin: Kwasnicki


15.Matthew Nuthall; 14.Aled Summerhill; 13.Geraint Walsh; 12.Gary Williams; 11.Owen Jenkins; 10.Simon Humberstone (c); 9.Tom Williams; 1.Chris Phillips; 2.Liam Belcher; 3.Keiron Jenkins; 4.Craig Locke; 5.Jordan Sieniawski; 6.Luke Crocker; 7.Thomas Young; 8.Owen Sheppeard.

Used replacements: 19. Hetherington, 22.Pat Palmer, 21.James Howe, 18.Gareth Wyatt, 20.Rhys Shellard, 17.Dai Flanagan.

Unused replacements: 16.Lloyd Williams.

Tries: Locke, Humberstone, Young.

Conversions: Humberstone (3)

Sin-bin: Belcher, Summerhill.

Referee: Ross Campbell

Assistant referee: Michael Patz and Darryl Chapman.

Fourth official: Doug Cowie

Man of the Match: Mark Bright

Attendance: 1238.

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