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Scottish Brush Pirates Aside at the RAG

Scottish Brush Pirates Aside at the RAG

Grayson Hart of London Scottish hugs the scorer Charlie Ingall during the Greene King IPA Championship match between London Scottish Football Club and Cornish Pirates at Richmond Athletic Ground, Richmond, United Kingdom on 13 April 2019. Photo by Carlton Myrie.

On a grey and cold afternoon in London, Scottish needed to start quickly to secure a win against a strong team from Cornwall, who sit 5th in the league table. Scottish came into the game only 10 points ahead of the bottom placed team, Richmond.

The Pirates took control of the opening 30 minutes, keeping Scottish pinned in their half in large part. It took just 8 minutes for Pirates to score. From a 5m scrum, they pinged the ball wide to Cant, Vernon rushed out the line to make the tackle, but Cant stepped and ran in an easy try. No conversion, LSFC 0-5 Pirates.

Despite possession and territory dominance, the Pirates were struggling to break down the solid defence. On the 28th minute, Pirates were pinging it around in the middle of the pitch when space opened up for the men from Cornwall. They ghosted through the defence, the final offload to Bolwell looked forward but the ref didn’t see it and he ran in between the posts to score. Converted easily, LSFC 0-12 Pirates.

Suddenly the Scots woke up and the Pirates defence started to creak. Beukeboom gave away three penalties in quick succession – two nasty high tackles plus taking the man out in the air – and saw yellow which gifted Scottish an advantage. From a 5m scrum, Scottish tried to crash over the line, until a grubber was sent through to Stevenson who touched it down in the corner. Hart converted, LSFC 7-12 Pirates. The score didn’t change in the final 5 minutes, but Scottish were certainly in the ascendancy.

Scottish began the second half as they ended the first, and were level with Pirates within 2 minutes. From a line out on the Pirates 10m line, Scottish went quickly to the try line, but couldn’t quite make it. The ball was recycled and a looped pass over the top found Ingall on the wing, who stepped the last defender to score. Not converted, LSFC 12-12 Pirates.

5 mins later, Scottish took the lead. From a scrum just inside the pirates half, Scottish moved the ball around well. Fowlie and Beattie, who had a superb game, made huge dents in the defence. Short of the 5m line, Barton went alone but was brought down before he could score. Eliet was on hand though to scoop it up and crash over. Hart added the two, LSFC 19-12 Pirates with half an hour to go.

Pirates were quick to get back on a level footing through Alvarez, who was their star player by some distance. Pirates worked their way up to the 5m line, using their forwards to inch ahead. They didn’t look like scoring, so fired the ball to Alvarez who stepped his man and dived over to score. He also converted, LSFC 19-19 Pirates, just 20 to play.

MPU

Pirates were growing back into the game, and an Alvarez penalty on the 63rd minute handed them the lead again. But Scottish used their physical dominance as a platform who take control of the final 15 minutes. Mantella came on for the final 8 minutes and the dynamic of the game changed.

74 minutes played, and Mantella showed his class and his speed. From deep in the Scots 22, he found enough space to dart through the defensive line in front of him, 40m into his sprint he offloaded to Davidson on his right shoulder, who put through a glorious grubber to Ingall who picked the ball up at full tilt to score under the posts. It was a try of pure athleticism. Davidson converted, LSFC 26-22 Pirates, which is how the game ended.

After a very slow start, Scottish were deserved winners in the end. Stand out performances from Beattie, Eliet, Ingall and man of the match, Grayson Hart.

London Scottish Harris; Saunders; Palframan; Hodge; Vukasinovic; Tyas; Eliet; Bright (c); Barton; Hart; Beattie; Vernon; Fowlie; Stevenson; Ingall // Replacements: Adams; Brodley; Cringle; Atkinson; Brand; Davidson; Mantella

Tries Stevenson; Eliet; Ingall (2)

Conversion(s) Hart (2), Davidson

Penalties

Cornish Pirates Walker; Frost; Owlett; Freeman; Beukeboom (c); Lee; Bolwell; Duncan; Schwarz; Alvarez; O’Meara; Patterson; Parata; Wedlake; Cant // Replacements: Andrew; Concu; Cutmore; Stevens; Day; Cargill; Koster

Tries Cant; Bolwell; Alvarez

Conversion(s) Alvarez (2)

Penalties Alvarez (2)

Referee(s) A. Jackson; S. Adams; I. Bibey

Attendance 1184

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