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Slick Bristol Overpower Scottish in Eleven Try Thriller

Slick Bristol Overpower Scottish in Eleven Try Thriller

Match action during the Greene King IPA Championship match between London Scottish Football Club and Bristol Rugby at Richmond Athletic Ground, Richmond, United Kingdom on 17 February 2018. Photo by Vince Mignott.

It was a beautiful spring afternoon in Richmond and London Scottish, who had narrowly lost their last league game against Doncaster, were looking to start strongly league leaders Bristol. Coming into the final stretch of the season, Scottish needed to pick up as many points as possible against some of the league’s big hitters.

Bristol came into this game unbeaten and, with a host of talent in their travelling squad, including International stars Tusi Pisi, and Steven Luatua, were looking to add another win to their tally.

MPU

The opening five minutes were positive for Scottish. Big carries in the middle of the pitch from Mosses & Curry exposed some gaps in the Bristol defence. It was Bristol who opened the scoring though; from a line out on 5 minutes, the ball was sent down the wing to Sheedy, whose deft pass opened up a gap for Morahan to break through; he sprinted down the wing to touch the ball down in the corner. LSFC 0-5 Bristol.

Just a few minutes later, and Bristol came on the attack again; David Lemi found space on the wing and the 36yr old Samoan blew past the defence with a stunning burst of speed to score in the corner. It was an excellent piece of athleticism. Sheedy converted to make it LSFC 0-12 Bristol after 12 minutes.

Scottish put together some nice phases of their own, Neal made some big gains down the wing, but the Exiles struggled to puncture the Bristol defence; their speed & physicality in the tackle shunted Scottish back throughout the game. Eventually the pressure from Scottish told, and Bristol were forced to concede a penalty in front of their posts. Atkins duly stepped up and put Scottish on the scoreboard. 16 minutes played, LSFC 3-12 Bristol.

Another Bristol attack down the wing led to another try. A big hit went in from Williams at the back, but when the ball bobbled loose Lemi was on hand to scoop it up and run in his second try of the afternoon. Sheedy missed another conversion, LSFC 3-17 with 20 minutes gone.

Both teams put together some good phases, and massive hits were going in from both sides. Curry & Marley making big tackles, while Luatua & Crane prevented Scottish making any headway. On 26 minutes, Bristol kicked the ball over the top down the wing, the chase was on between Williams & Leiua… Leiua picked it up, but Williams was on him to prevent him dotting over. Bristol recycled the ball well, and Morahan was on-hand to score his second. Converted by Sheedy, Bristol extended their lead. LSFC 3-24 Bristol.

Even with the try bonus point in the bag, Bristol were on the hunt for more. Just after the half hour mark, Bristol went through the phases deep in the Scottish 22. Huge tackles went in from Scottish, but they couldn’t stop Pisi once he’d created some space for himself. He shrugged off his tackler, and dived between the posts to score. Sheedy converted easily, LSFC 3-31 Bristol.

Bristol put together more good phases, but the Scottish defence was up quickly and stopped them creating anything meaningful, until the 39th minute. From a line out on the Scots 22, Bristol carried the ball into contact, looking to pull the Scots defence out of shape. Eventually, Bristol made their way to the 5m line and Jack Lam crashed over to score. Sheedy added the conversion, half time score, LSFC 3-38 Bristol.

The second half began much like the first, Scottish put together a number of good phases, but the Bristol defence was able to soak up the attacks. After 50 minutes, Bristol got their own chance to attack from a 5m line out. The catch & drive rumbled slowly towards the line, Jason Harris-Wright was the man holding the ball as they crossed the whitewash. No conversion, LSFC 3-43 Bristol.

Scottish spent the next fifteen minutes knocking on the door, but the Bristol defence was proving to be completely solid. Huge carries in the centre of the park from Miller, Mosses & Curry kept Bristol on the back foot, but Scottish could not capitalise.

Into the final ten minutes, and the play was beginning to break apart. Bristol had worked their way down into the Scottish 22, but Holland read the final pass & intercepted it. A lung-busting 70m sprint followed, and he dotted down to the huge delight of the biggest crowd so far this season. No conversion, LSFC 8-43 Bristol.

Bristol responded 2 minutes later with an intercept of their own; from the re-start, Scottish looked to run it out of their own half, but Leiua read the pass & intercepted for an easy run-in. LSFC 8-48 Bristol.

5 minutes left to play, and both teams threw caution to the wind. Scottish worked the ball across the pitch well, Marley broke his tackler, offloaded to Neal who palmed off the final defender to score. It was an excellent piece of interplay from the two Scottish players. LSFC 15-48 Bristol.

Scottish attacked again, but the ball was turned over on the Bristol 5m line; a superb break from Jordan Williams down the wing meant the chase was on for the ball as he kicked it towards the Scots try line, Matt Williams won the foot race, but it was Bristol who picked up the ball, Latta dived onto it and crossed the line. Converted easily by Irish international Ian Madigan, final score, LSFC 15-55 Bristol.

Stand out performance from Oli Curry again this week, Chris Walker, Ross Neal and former Bristol player Ben Mosses.

 

London Scottish Appiah; Miller (c); Cringle; Milne; Curry; Marley; C. Walker; Atkinson; A. Walker; Atkins; J.L. Smith; Mosses; Neal; Williams; Ingall // Replacements: George; Christie; McQuillin; Jones; Eliet; Hoadley; Holland

Try Holland; Neal

Conversion Holland

Penalty Atkins

 

Bristol Tonga’uiha; Fenton-Wells; Cortes; Joyce; Latta; Luatua; Lam; Crane (c); Uren; Sheedy; Lemi; Pisi; Tovey; Leiua; Morahan // Replacements: Harris-Wright; O’Connell; Lay; Jeffries; R. Williams; Madigan; J. Williams

Try Morahan (x2); Lemi (x2) Pisi; Lam; Harris-Wright; Leiua; Latta

Conversion Sheedy (x4); Madigan

 

Referee Karl Dixon

Attendance 1,863

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