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Scottish succumb to Currie firepower in tour opener

Scottish succumb to Currie firepower in tour opener

London Scottish were second best to an impressive Currie side at Malleny Park on Friday night, opening their tour with a 34-13 loss.

London Scottish were second best to an impressive Currie side at Malleny Park on Friday night, opening their tour with a 34-13 loss.

The Scottish champions started the clash in lively fashion, and with their league season due to commence next week, it was clear the men from Balerno were in rude health ahead of their opener at Melrose.

MPU

They opened the scoring after Chris Kinloch, who was a thorn to the men in blue all evening, chipped over the visiting defence, collected the ball and raced towards the line. He was held up just short, but the diminutive Richard Snedden was on hand to finish off his colleague’s good work.

The travelling support then enjoyed their best moment of the evening when David Howells scored a superb solo effort, outstripping the Currie cover defence to scorch home after Craig Ratford had moved the ball wide after a number of phases.

Ian McInroy and his men, including four new faces in Craig McGrath, Pete Elder, Ratford and Callum Grant, worked hard for the remainder of the opening period, but a host of unforced errors were restricting their fluency.

Frankie Neale and McInroy perhaps should have done better when they were both through on separate occasions, only for Neale to put his foot in touch, and McInroy to drop the ball, much to the frustration of those on the sidelines.

A Ratford penalty was all they had to show for their efforts, but Currie added a second on the stroke of half-time when Alan Whittingham went over after Andrew Binikos had cleverly engineered an overlap, with Howells the man stranded.

With only two points in it, the side from the Athletic Ground were still in the tie, and they were buoyed by the restricting Currie to just a slender lead, despite Andy Adam’s men having a large share of the possession.

Currie came out firing after the interval though, and blew their opponents away in the half’s opening half hour.

Ex-Loughborough Students man Jamie Thompson got the first after a powerful drive in the corner was relentlessly shoved over the line, before James Johnston galloped over from half-way after picking up a loose pass from Ratford, extending the home side's lead to 22-8.

Whittingham added his second not long after, after Johnston started a slick move from inside his own half, seeing the ball go through the outside backs. Whittingham was the recipient of the final pass to slide over, to cap off a brilliantly simple try, and it seemed the visitors were really struggling.

It was to get worse before it got better, though, as Kinloch got the try his performance deserved. He cut a great line outside Ross Weston to scythe through, after Currie had secured quick ball from a tapped penalty. Replacement Matt Scott added his second conversion of the night, with Scottish only having pride left to play for.

That they did, and McInroy provided the consolation with a smart finish out wide after Scottish had their first concerted spell of pressure for a while, and Neale should have added another right at the death but his 60 yard run was hauled short right on the line by Johnston, resulting in the England Counties full-back spilling the ball forward.

It was a strong finish by Amor’s charges in a tie where they were outgunned by a side that showed they were in the final stages of their pre-season preparation, and plenty of lessons will no doubt have been learnt by the management team, as they now head west to take on last year’s Scottish cup winners – Ayr.

 

Home Team
Tries: Richard Snedden, Alan Whittingham (2), Jamie Thompson, James Johnston, Chris Kinloch

Conversions: Matt Scott (2) 

Away Team
Tries: David Howells, Ian McInroy

Penalty: Craig Ratford

Home Team
15. T.Brown, 14. C.Kinloch, 13. J.Johnston, 12. A.MacMahon, 11. A.Whittingham, 10. A.Binikos, 9. R.Snedden, 1. A.Reekie, 2. N.Scobbie, 3. A.Hamilton, 4. R.Wilson, 5. A.Adam (c), 6. J.Thompson, 7. M.Entwhistle, 8. R.Weston

Replacements: 16. J.Cox, 17. F.Scott, 18. G.Temple, 19. A.Johnston, 20. F.Strachan, 21. M.Scott, 22. I.Downie

Away Team
15. F.Neale, 14. R.Poitrowski, 13. I.McInroy (c), 12. R.Damant, 11. D.Howells, 10. C.Ratford, 9. C.Grant, 1. M.Johnson, 2. T.Standfield, 3. C.McGrath, 4. A.Karonias, 5. P.Elder, 6. B.Lonergan, 7. T.Yellowlees, 8. W.Lipp

Replacements: 16. A.Kent, 17. J.Graham, 18. D.Palmer, 19. C.Stidston-Nott, 20. M.Soden, 21. P.Jericevich

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