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London Scottish dominated Manchester from start to finish yesterday at Grove Lane in Cheadle, scoring 15 tries to thump the hosts 93-0.

London Scottish dominated Manchester from start to finish yesterday at Grove Lane in Cheadle, scoring 15 tries to thump the hosts 93-0.

With Cambridge losing at Otley, Scottish climb to third in National League 1 with 30 points, the same as second-placed Wharfedale, who remain ahead through having won more games. Beset by financial problems off the pitch and losing a host of established players over the summer, Manchester, one of English rugby’s oldest clubs – they celebrate their 150th anniversary next year – have endured a wretched start to the season, their predominantly young side shipping an average of over 100 points a game while managing just 28 in reply.


With Scottish in a rich vein of form after recent victories over Nuneaton, Blaydon and Wharfedale, the hosts faced a monumental task, but London Scottish head coach Brett Taylor had cautioned that Manchester “must have some incredible inner strength and team camaraderie to want to still compete every Saturday.” Nevertheless, Taylor rested a number of regulars to give an opportunity of first-team rugby to several young players who had impressed in second-team outings this season.

And Taylor wouldn’t be disappointed as Scottish racked up nearly 50 points in each half, the 15 tries shared between 10 players, including a brace for former England Students flanker Tom Yellowlees on his debut.

Centre Rory Damant got the scoreboard ticking over in the third minute, touching down in the corner after a break from Chris Dunlop, full back Frankie Neale adding the conversion. Then on six minutes, Neale crossed over himself for the first of his two tries, again securing the extra points to put Scottish 14-0 ahead. By the quarter-hour mark, that lead had been doubled and the bonus point secured, Neale converting twice more following tries from winger Charlie Broughton and Yellowlees.

Manchester, who never gave up despite the avalanche of tries, tackled extremely well to try and stem the tide, but on 25 minutes Yellowlees, voted man of the match by the travelling Scottish support, scored after a break from Neale. Further pressure from the forwards saw flanker Paul Volley score on 37 minutes and enough time remained before the break for Neale to add another seven points to his afternoon’s haul as he touched down under the posts to give himself an easy conversion attempt, making it 47-0 at the interval.

After the restart, despite playing into the wind, the Scottish onslaught continued, Broughton adding his second on 46 minutes after being set up by fly half James Brown, who benefited from solid service from scrum half Callum Grant throughout the match, and Fijian Peceli Nacamuvotu claiming a try four minutes later.

With Manchester under sustained pressure, the referee added to their misery on 58 minutes, awarding a penalty try for collapsing the scrum and Brown, taking over kicking duties for the remainder of the match from the substituted Neale, added the conversion.

The one-way traffic continued, left-wing Charlie Baffour-Awuah, another debutant, scoring the first of his pair of tries just after the hour, his second coming on seventy-five minutes in the move of the half following some great interplay from Damant and Nacamavuto. In between those scores, second row Iain Fullarton had crossed over following a driving maul, and Damant had claimed his second. Late on, No 8 Darryl Ball brushed aside Manchester’s defence in a 20-metre run to touch down and make the final score 93-0.

Afterwards, Taylor said he was “very, very happy with the new players who came in, Tom Yellowlees was outstanding, as was Charlie Baffour Awuah with his two tries. In terms of the players who have been performing week-in, week-out” he added, saying “they stood up and showed that they are potential first team players,” reflecting a strength in depth that should stand Scottish in good stead as the season progresses.

Next week, Scottish host Forest of Dean side Cinderford at the Athletic Ground, with kick-off at 3pm.

Home Team
Away Team
London Scottish 93 (Tries: Damant (2), Neale (2), Broughton (2), Yellowlees (2), Balfour-Awuah (2), Volley, Nacamavuto, Fullarton, Ball, penalty try; Conversions: Neale (7), Brown (2).
Home Team
Manchester: Taylor, McCabe, Rockey, Coskie, Hall, Hopkinson, Carlton, Stock, Gould, Prest, Walker-Fitton, Antoniades, Davies, Hammonds, Hidenger (Replacements: Howells, Noar, Farrington)
Away Team
London Scottish: Neale, Broughton, Damant, Dunlop, Baffour-Awuah, Brown, Grant, Bruce, Silvester, Johnson, Fullarton, Palmer, Yellowlees, Volley, Ball (Replacements: Standfield, Fahey, Livingston, Peel, Nacamavuto)
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