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Positives for Scottish despite Harlequins defeat

Positives for Scottish despite Harlequins defeat

London Scottish put up stern resistance at the Stoop this evening but eventually were well beaten 40-15 by a classy Harlequins outfit in the first friendly of pre-season.

London Scottish put up stern resistance at the Stoop this evening but eventually were well beaten 40-15 by a classy Harlequins outfit in the first friendly of pre-season.

Quins claimed six tries in all but could have scored more were it not for an impressive all round defensive performance from the Green King IPA Championship side.

MPU

Offensively Director of Rugby Simon Amor will also have been pleased with his side's brace of tries in the second half after a game which left both camps content in the end.

London Scottish started brightly and were rewarded in the opening minutes when debutant fly half Lee Millar slotted home a penalty goal from all of 45 metres near the left touchline.

Quins responded impressively with scrum half Danny Care looking to snipe at every opportunity.

They refused early kicks at goal and after a period of sustained pressure were forced into a number of errors by an encouraging Scottish defence.

Irish open side Neil Best made a particularly telling tackle on Care right on the line which forced the knock-on and scrum-half Jordi Pasqualin made a great tap tackle to deny Paul Sackey 15 metres out.

The penalty count was adding up and eventually the pressure told on a brave Scottish defence with prop Darry Marfo barging over from close range on 25 minutes following an attacking line-out. Ben Botica kicked the extras.

Harlequins added a second score soon after. Neat hands by Matt Hopper and Jordan Turner-Hall allowed winger Tom Williams an easy run in from two yards out. Botica was again successful with the conversion as the hosts opened up a 14-3 lead on 28 minutes.

Quins scored a third try seven minutes later with skipper Lee Wallace charging over in the right hand corner. Botica again nailed the tough conversion for 21-3.

It was a virtual on slaught from Quins in the first half with Scottish having very little of the ball, their defensive structures being tested to the limit. Indeed they did well to hold one of the best teams in Europe to just three tries in the opening exchanges.

The second half began with a familiar pattern of Quins possession but Scottish received some welcome respite thanks to a super turnover by hooker Harry Allen.

The Athletic Ground outfit then got themselves into a good positon 15 metres from Quins line and after David Lyons secured line-out ball, club captain Lewis Calder drove over for a fine try. Replacement fly half Dan Newton claimed the extras to make it 21-10 before Quins responded in ruthless fashion.

After Hopper caught the restart, Tom Guest sailed over the white line with the successful conversion making it 28-10.

Guest then turned provider offloading to Willams who went in for his second score of the evening.

With a string of replacements the game opened up and it was a sweet moment for former Stoop man Miles Mantella who scored with his first touch of the ball 12 minutes from time.

After Lewis Calder was sin-binned near the end following persistant Scottish infringements, Jock Clifford scored the final try of the evening, Louis Grimoldby kicking the conversion from straight in front. 

Reaction: listen to coach Serge Betsen's post-match thoughts here: audioboo.fm/boos/1551180

Tomorrow: Lewis Calder will give his reaction to events at the Stoop and chats us through his try.

Home Team
Tries, Marfo, Williams x 2, Wallace, Guest, Clifford.
Conversions: Botica x 4, Grimoldby.
Away Team
Tries, Calder, Mantella.
Penalty: Millar.
Conversions: Newton
Home Team
1, Darryl Marfo, 2, Rob Buchanan, 3, Kyle Sinckler, 4, George Merrick, 5, Sam Twomey, 6, Joe Trayfoot, 7, Luke Wallace (captain), 8, Tom Guest, 9, Danny Care, 10, Ben Botica, 11, Paul Sackey, 12, Jordan Turner Hall, 13, Matt Hopper, 14, Tom Williams, 15 Charlie Walker.

Used replacements: 16, Joe Gray, 17, Nic Mayhew, 18, Paul Doran-Jones, 20, Jack Clifford, 21, Sam Stuart, 19, George Robson, 22, Louis Grimoldby, 24, Maurie Fa'asavalu, 27, Harry Sloan.

Unused replacements: 23, George Lowe, 25, Jordan Burns, 26, Tom Casson.

Away Team
1, Mark Irish, 2, Ted Stagg, 3, Lewis Thiede (Tom Francis), 4, Alex Karonias, 5, David Lyons, 6, Ben Russell, 7, Neil Best, 8, Mark Bright (captain), 9, Jordi Pasqualin, 10, Lee Millar, 11, Pete Homan, 12, PJ Gidlow, 13, Oli Grove, 14, Mike Doneghan, 15, James Love.

Used replacements: 3, Tom Francis, 7, Lewis Calder, 16, Harry Allen, 20, Jamie Stevenson, 22, Jim Thomson, 21, Dan Newton, 14, Miles Mantella, 18, George Hunter.

Unused replacements: 6, Chevvy Pennycook, 12, Andy Reay, 17, Jamie Kilbane, 19, Tommy Spinks.

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