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Scots suffer late defeat to Nottingham in Championship opener

Scots suffer late defeat to Nottingham in Championship opener

London Scottish suffered an agonising late defeat after a 75th minute penalty from Tiff Eden gave Nottingham a 25-22 victory on the opening day of the Greene King IPA Championship season.

London Scottish suffered an agonising late defeat after a 75th minute penalty from Tiff Eden gave Nottingham a 25-22 victory on the opening day of the Greene King IPA Championship season.

The Scots dominated the game for large parts but couldn’t turn a 14-7 lead early in the second half in to a victory as ill-discipline started to creep in to the game and allowed the hosts back in to the match.

MPU

In what was a hugely physical opening to the match the defences were both holding firm, but it was Peter Lydon’s boot which was the difference between the teams in the opening 40 minutes. 

A penalty from a scrum gave Lydon his first opportunity of the afternoon, which he completed to give the Scots a 3-0 advantage. 

The Scots had a golden chance to extend their lead just after the 20 minute mark. A break from Ben Rath resulted in a huge overlap on the left hand side, but as the ball was spun wide it was fumbled when Joe Atkinson looked to have a clear run to the try-line. Lydon then made it 6-0 straight after. 

Nottingham responded with a try to edge themselves in front. A break from an up-and-under allowed Murray McConnell space to run through from just outside the 22, and Tiff Eden’s conversion gave them a one point lead. 

Lydon’s third penalty of the first half just before the break gave the Scots a deserved 9-7 lead at half-time.

The second half got off to the perfect start with a try almost immediately from Tom Galbraith. The ball spat out of a ruck inside the Scottish half, and the full-back was first to react, allowing him to use his pace to run clear and extend the advantage to 14-7. 

Robbie Fergusson almost marked his first match as captain with a try, but just as he intercepted and looked to be away, the referee blew for a penalty which was kicked by Eden to reduce the deficit to four points. 

Nottingham went in front just before the hour with a try from Oli Evans. A line-out inside the Scottish 22 presented them with the chance, and the ball was chipped through allowing the centre to dot the ball down and give them a 15-14 advantage. 

T J Harris extended their lead 10 minutes later. The hooker held on to the ball from a driving maul which surged towards the line and went all the way over. Eden’s conversion made it 22-14. 

The Scots replied immediately with a try straight from the kick-off. Lydon’s looping restart was allowed to bounce by the Nottingham players, which presented debutant Cameron Ives with an easy task to score from five metres out to bring Scottish right back in to the match. 

Lydon brought the scoreboard level with seven minutes to go, a penalty from the half-way line set up a tense ending with the score at 22-22. 

A scrum penalty which was kicked by Eden gave Nottingham a narrow three point lead with five minutes left. In the final stages Scottish had a great chance to steal the victory with a five-metre lineout which turned in to a rolling maul, but the hosts managed to turn the ball over and secure the win. 

Nottingham Rugby: 
15 Billy Robinson 14 Sam Yawayawa 13 Oli Evans 12 Gearoid Lyons 11 Josh Adams 10 Tiff Eden 9 Murray McConnell 1 Kieran Davies 2 TJ Harris 3 Tom Heard 4 Morgan Eames 5 Toby Freeman 6 Ben Morris 7 Matt Everard (c) 8 Shane Buckley

Replacements:
16 Tom West 17 Ben Brownie 18 Adam Parkins 19 Jordan Coghlan 20 Rob Langley 21Darryl Veenendaal 22 Vili Hakalo

Scorers: 
Tries: Murray McConnell (30 minutes) Oli Evans (58 minutes) TJ Harris (67 minutes)
Conversions: Tiff Eden (30, 67 minutes)
Penalties: Tiff Eden (51, 76 minutes)

London Scottish: 
15 Tom Galbraith 14 Ben Rath 13 Robbie Fergusson (c) 12 Harry Sheppard (replaced by George Cullen) 11 Cameron Ives 10 Pete Lydon 9 Ed Hoadley (replaced by Jamie Stevenson) 1 Grant Shiells (replaced by Jonny Harris) 2 Dave Cherry 3 Ewan McQuillin (replaced by Phil Cringle) 4 Hugh Taylor 5 Charlie Hewitt (replaced by Danny Kenny) 6 Ally Miller 7 Joe Atkinson 8 Ifereimi Boladau (replaced by Dom McGeekie)

Replacements: 
16 Devlin Hope 17 Jonny Harris 18 Phil Cringle 19 Dom McGeekie 20 Danny Kenny 21 Jamie Stevenson 22 George Cullen  

Scorers: 
Tries: Tom Galbraith (43 minutes) Cameron Ives (68 minutes)
Conversions: Peter Lydon (43 minutes)
Penalties: Peter Lydon (10, 27, 34, 73 minutes)

Half-Time Score: Nottingham 7-9 London Scottish

Watch post-match interviews with Forwards Coach John Dalziel and Joe Atkinson below:

 

 

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