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Scots left frustrated after narrow defeat to Doncaster Knights

Scots left frustrated after narrow defeat to Doncaster Knights

London Scottish suffered a frustrating defeat as they were edged out 26-20 by Doncaster Knights at the Athletic Ground.

London Scottish suffered a frustrating defeat as they were edged out 26-20 by Doncaster Knights at the Athletic Ground.

The Scots had plenty of possession and certainly did enough to justify the victory, but after spending most of the last 10 minutes in the Doncaster 22 they were unable to cross the line for what would have been a decisive score. 


The match exploded in to life and Jason Harries scored under the posts after just 55 seconds to give Scottish a dream start. Rory Bartle broke through the line of defence and drew in the last defender, offloading to his fellow Welshman who ran over the line unattended. Peter Lydon’s conversion gave the Scots a 7-0 advantage. 

It didn’t take long for Scottish to extend their lead, a penalty in front of the posts meant that Lydon stepped up again and made it 10-0 after just five minutes. 

Doncaster responded strongly and showed why they haven’t been beaten in the Greene King IPA Championship since October, with some huge resilience on display. 

Latu Makaafi drove over the line from a rolling maul to add to what had been a breathless opening to the match. The flanker was the beneficiary of a huge shove from the Knights back, and with Dec Cusack’s conversion the score was 10-7 after 11 minutes. 

The game settled down for the remainder of the first-half, and the 1089 in attendance had to wait until the 30-minute mark for the next score, and it was the visitors who went ahead for the first time in the match. 

The Knights had a line-out just by the Scottish 22, and off the back of it executed a brilliant set-piece move which had clearly come straight from the training ground. The ball came off the back, and in to the middle, before Simon Humberstone’s inside pass caught everyone off guard and allowed Will Hurrell to burst through and under the posts. Cusack’s conversion gave them a 14-10 lead. 

The visitors nearly went further ahead just before the break, as they went racing clear down the line, but a brilliant cover tackle from Dan Newton meant that at half-time it was 14-10 to Doncaster. 

Scottish started the second half in the same fashion as the first, and it was Jason Harries who scored his second try of the afternoon just two minutes in. 

The Scots were deep in the Doncaster 22, and the ball was recycled on to the wing where the winger was there to dot down in the corner. Lydon’s touchline conversion gave Scottish a 17-14 lead. 

Three minutes later Lydon struck another penalty from just outside the 22, extending the advantage to six points. 

The match turned on it’s head with Doncaster scoring two tries in the space of four minutes which ultimately cost Scottish the match. 

WillGriff John scored the Knights’ third try after he drove over from another rolling maul, but Cusack’s conversion went wide. 

Andy Bulumakau put the visitors in front of 57 minutes. The winger picked up the ball from a ruck 30 metres out, and snuck down the blindside, having the pace to evade the defence and score. Cusack was successful with the conversion, giving Doncaster a 26-20 lead. 

Doncaster had a golden chance to put the match out of sight with just 10 minutes to play. With an overlap on the left hand side Tyson Lewis ran the ball over the line, but the referee called play back for a forward pass. 

Scottish gave it everything in the final few minutes and had a number of opportunities to snatch the victory. Harries broke down the wing but was hauled down, resulting in a huge overlap on the far side but the ball didn’t reach the wing and the attack broke down. 

One final chance saw the Scots have a five-metre lineout with the clock rapidly ticking down, but Doncaster stole the line out and were able to secure the victory. 

There are now two blank weekends before the Scots are back in action on Good Friday when they face Jersey in the Greene King IPA Championship. 

London Scottish: 
15 Peter Lydon 14 Jason Harries 13 Robbie Fergusson 12 Alex Grove 11 Sam Smith (replaced by Howard Packman) 10 Dan Newton (replaced by Oli Grove) 9 Matt Heeks (replaced by George Horne) 1 Jack Cosgrove (replaced by James Hallam) 2 Adam Kwasnicki 3 Matt Shields (replaced by Max Maidment) 4 Rory Bartle 5 Neale Patrick (replaced by Will Carrick Smith) 6 Evan Olmstead 7 Tinus du Plessis (replaced by Tyrone Moran) 8 Mark Bright (c)

16 Tyrone Moran 17 James Hallam 18 Max Maidment 19 Will Carrick Smith 20 George Horne 21 Oli Grove 22 Howard Packman

Tries: Jason Harries (1, 42 minutes)
Conversions: Peter Lydon (1, 42 minutes)
Penalties: Peter Lydon (5, 47 minutes)

Doncaster Knights:
15 Dec Cusack, 14 Andy Bulumakau, 13 Mat Clark, 12 Will Hurrell, 11 Tyson Lewis (replaced by Brad Field) 10 Simon Humberstone (replaced by Ollie Bryant), 9 Michael Heaney, 1 Rich List (replaced by WillGriff John), 2 Ben Hunter (replaced by Ted Stagg), 3 Colin Quigley (replaced by Joe Sproston), 4 Matt Challinor (replaced by Tyler Hotson), 5 Jon Phelan (replaced by Glen Younh), 6 Latu Makaafi, 7 Michael Hills (c), 8 Alex Shaw.

16 Ted Stagg, 17 Joe Sproston, 18 WillGriff John, 19 Tyler Hotson, 20 Glen Young, 21 Ollie Bryant, 22 Brad Field.

Tries: Latu Makaafi (11 minutes) Will Hurrell (31 minutes) WillGriff John (53 minutes) Andy Bulumakau (59 minutes)
Conversions: Dec Cusack (11, 31, 59 minutes)

Referee: Matthew O’Grady
Assistant Referees: Brian Ravenhill & Lionel Spooner
Fourth Official: Daniel Parrott

Half-Time: London Scottish 10 – 14 Doncaster Knights

Full-Time: London Scottish 20 – 26 Doncaster Knights

Attendance: 1089

Man Of The Match: Jason Harries



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