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London Scottish 38 – 7 Blaydon

London Scottish 38 – 7 Blaydon

London Scottish remain top of the league and in the driving seat in the race for the Championship, after they overcame a physical Blaydon side in a 38 - 7 victory at the RAA. Scottish were not intimidated by the tactics adopted by the North East side and fronted up throughout the match and ran out clear winners at the end.

London Scottish remain top of the league and in the driving seat in the race for the Championship, after they overcame a physical Blaydon side in a 38 – 7 victory at the RAA. Scottish were not intimidated by the tactics adopted by the North East side and fronted up throughout the match and ran out clear winners at the end.

On a very sunny day, London Scottish kicked off towards the Park end of the ground with a slight breeze behind their backs. From the off Scottish put the Blaydon side on the back foot and pressed the play into their 22 metres. Winger Hihetah joined the backs in a very good move and created a superb break in the middle of the pitch, which was only stopped by good Blaydon defence. Shortly afterwards Scottish were awarded a penalty and kicked to the corner. At the subsequent line out the ball was switched between the backs and the Blaydon winger Barber pounced on a wayward Scottish pass and raced 90 metres down the pitch to score under the posts. Fly half Baggett converted an easy kick to put the away side 0 – 7 ahead and completely against the run of play in the opening minutes of the match.

MPU

Scottish immediately took the game back into the Blaydon half of the pitch. The Scottish forwards drove into the 22 metre and the pressure began to tell on the Blaydon defence. The away side began to concede a number of penalties, which eventually led to the yellow carding of the Blaydon flanker Smithson on 11 minutes for hands in the ruck and preventing the release of the ball. Scottish opened their account on 14 minutes when centre McDougall made a great line break through the centre of the Blaydon defence and off loaded to flanker Calder on his inside shoulder, who side stepped the Blaydon full back to score just to the right of the posts. Fly half Ratford converted to leave the scores all square at 7 – 7.

Scottish took the lead on the 21st minute of the match. The Scottish forwards were driving their Blaydon counterparts onto the back foot. The ball was eventually fed back to the backs who quickly moved the ball through hands and the ball eventually reached winger Howells on the left touchline. Howells hugging the touchline raced towards the Blaydon try line, but was tackled just short of the line by his opposite number, however passed the ball inside to full back Bordiss who was on his shoulder to score out wide. Ratford converted a very difficult conversion attempt to put Scottish ahead 14 – 7. The remainder of the first half developed into a physical battle as the away side attempted to take the ball to the Scottish defence, however the Scottish defence held firm and were not deterred or provoked by some strong arm tactics adopted by the Balaydon side. As the teams went in for the half time break the score was 14 – 7.

Scottish made a tactical change at half time and brought on their player coach and scrum half Amor and the change had an immediate effect on play. Five minutes into the start of the second half the Scottish forwards pushed the Blaydon defence deep into their 22 metre area. The ball was moved through the backs hands and the ball was knocked backwards from a strong Blaydon tackle, however the ball was picked up by prop Standfield who charged over to score. Ratford missed the conversion to leave the score 19 – 7. The bonus point was secured on the 50th minute, when the Blaydon side were again penalised close to the half way line. Amor took a quick tap and raced through the retiring Blaydon defence and was eventually tackled deep in their 22 metre. The ball was quickly re-cycled through the forwards and the ball was fed out to winger Howells to score his 21st try of the season. Ratford missed a very difficult conversion to leave the score line 24 – 7.

During the next quarter of the match, the Blaydon side attempted to put enormous pressure on the Scottish defence and wave after wave of attacks by the Blaydon forwards was repulsed by tremendous resolute Scottish forwards and backs defence. On a number of occasions the Blaydon forwards were getting frustrated by their lack of success and pushed their attempts to the edges of the laws of the game. Eventually, Scottish regained the upper hand of the match and for all their huff and puff the Blaydon attack was exhausted and blunted after they failed to achieve success through their large physical pack. Scottish scored their fifth try of the match with just over 10 minutes of the game remaining. Full back Bordiss went on one of his mazy runs after he took a high kick on the half way line. He broke through some poor backs tackling, but was eventually stopped deep into the the Blaydon 22 metres and off loaded to the ever present Calder, who touched down just slightly to the left of the posts. Ratford converted to leave the score 31 – 7.

Scottish scored their final try of the match on the 72nd minute of the game, when after an extensive pressure on the Blaydon defence the Scottish backs moved the ball down the left hand side of the pitch. The ball was passed through a series of player’s hands with centre McDougall breaking through a number of poor Blaydon tackles to race down the left and cut across the dead ball area to touch down beneath the posts. Ratford converted to leave the final score 38 – 7.

Scottish retains their lead of the league table and has now recorded an impressive 23 consecutive wins. It is clear that Blaydon came to the RAA with specific tactics aimed at containing the threat posed by the Scottish team as a whole. This was down to good old fashioned grunt amongst their forwards and trying to exert physicality through their players. Scottish have not achieved first in the league by not having faced a similar approach by other teams who have visited the RAA this season and who have been surely dispatched in the same manner. Another victory notched up on the win column and the team now moves on to their final long haul away match of the season at picturesque Wharfedale. Look out for the match preview on the website later in the week.

Lewis Calder was awarded the FirstCape Wines Man of the Match award.
 

Home Team
Tries: Calder x2, Bordiss, Howells, Standfield, Macdougall

Con: Ratford x2

Away Team
Try: Barber

Con: Baggett

Home Team
15 Bordiss, 14 Hihetah, 13 MacDougall, 12 Trueman (c), 11 Howells, 10 Ratford, 9 Walbyoff

1 Kent, 2 Kwasnicki, 3 Standfield, 4 Newman, 5 Josh Brown, 6 Ollie Brown, 7 Calder, 8 Lipp

Replacements: Clarke, fahey, Karonias, Yellowlees, Amor 

Away Team
15 Kyle, 14 Barber, 13 Yarnton, 12 Rock, 11 Wilson, 10 Baggett, 9 Mellish

1 Kalbraier, 2 Hall, 3 Clarke, 4 Laughlin, 5 Archibald, 6 Smithson, 7 Bell, 8 Jones

Replacements: Williams, Bentham, Wearmouth, Vinnicombe, Stephenson

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