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Final Pre-Season Match – Esher 13- 15 London Scottish

Final Pre-Season Match – Esher 13- 15 London Scottish

London Scottish completed their pre-season preparations with a very good away victory at fellow Championship rivals Esher 13 - 15. Scottish opened up a 3 - 12 first half lead on the back of a dominant and excellent display by the pack, which allowed the backs to exploit the space created. A significant number of changes in personnel in the second half shifted the play in favour of Esher, however Scottish finished strongly sealing the win.

London Scottish completed their pre-season preparations with a very good away victory at fellow Championship rivals Esher 13 – 15. Scottish opened up a 3 – 12 first half lead on the back of a dominant and excellent display by the pack, which allowed the backs to exploit the space created. A significant number of changes in personnel in the second half shifted the play in favour of Esher, however Scottish finished strongly sealing the win.

London Scottish kicked off towards the club house end of the ground and in the face of a cross wind which favoured the home side. The opening phases of the game were played exclusively in the Esher half and it took a kick out of their 22m after 5 minutes to relieve the intense pressure which the Scottish pack were exerting. Scottish opened the scoring on the 7th minute when the pack had their opponents hemmed into their 22m. The ball was passed through backs hands, with full back John Bordiss joining the line and braking through some poor tackling to score 10 metres in from the touchline. Fly half James Brown missed the conversion as the ball drifted wide in the head wind.

MPU

Scottish nearly scored their second try of the match, when winger David Howells was held up 5 metres short of the Esher try line. He was hustled into touch by some last ditch tackling by the Esher backs. Scottish increased their lead shortly before the half hour mark when David Howells broke through the Esher defence on the touchline after being fed the ball inside by John Bordiss and raced away to score 5 metres in from the touch flag. James Brown had learned from his previous kick and converted an excellent kick from the touch line to put Scottish 0 – 12 up. The home side reduced their arrears just before the half time whistle, when Scottish were caught off side in their own 22m, immediately in front of the posts. Esher opted to kick the penalty and fly half Mark Atkinson converted to leave the half time score 3 – 12.

As with all pre-season matches this year, Scottish made a number of changes in their line up for the second half, which included a completely fresh front row and a number of changes throughout the side. Esher reduced the deficit further on the 47th minute following a very good break down the right hand side of the pitch and as the ball was passed inside to former Saracens winger, Tom Loizides who scored a well taken try. The conversion attempt was missed to leave the home side trailing 8 – 12. Tom Loizides scored his second try of the match on the 67th minute when the Esher backs exploited space out wide to put Esher 13 – 12 ahead. Scottish regained the lead on the 77th minute when Esher were penalised close to the 10 metre line in their half for going over the top at a ruck. Replacement fly half Dan Mugford converted with an excellent kick to seal a well deserved victory 13 – 15.

In a very competitive match Scottish came through their final pre-season game very well, ahead of the start of the Championship next weekend. During the first half the Scottish side dominated throughout and the pack was excellent. Even though numerous changes were made at the break to give the whole squad in attendance a run out, it is clear that the team are now ready for the serious business which lies ahead. Next weekend sees Scottish entertain Rotherham in the opening round of the Championship and will face another tough challenge against a strong and physical outfit. Look out for match preview later in the week.
 

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