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TWO TRIES FOR BROUGHTON AS SCOTTISH BEAT STOURBRIDGE

London Scottish secured another four points to maintain second place in National League One following a dour, forward-dominated match against a strong Stourbridge pack at the Athletic Ground yesterday. Thankfully, the wind and rain that had battered the South East during the week abated, allowing for decent, if overcast, conditions for the match.

London Scottish secured another four points to maintain second place in National League One following a dour, forward-dominated match against a strong Stourbridge pack at the Athletic Ground yesterday. Thankfully, the wind and rain that had battered the South East during the week abated, allowing for decent, if overcast, conditions for the match.

The Black Country outfit have more experience than anyone else of playing at this level – they are in their ninth successive season in the third tier of English rugby, and in the two decades since the National League system was introduced, have switched divisions only once, when they secured promotion from National League 2 North in 2001.

MPU

And in keeping with the increased physicality that Scottish have encountered in many of their encounters after moving up a level this season, Stourbridge brought a huge pack down to London. With the hosts’ head coach Brett Taylor making a couple of changes among the forwards, the visitors imposed themselves in the ruck and maul throughout the game.??

However, some sterling work throughout the 80 minutes by both the Scottish forwards and backs limited the visitors to just one score in the game, by which point the hosts had already scored two tries of their own, as they made the better of the opportunities that came their way.??

The first of those tries came in the fourth minute from a move that began inside the Scottish half and involved some great interplay from backs and forwards alike, Charlie Broughton passing to flanker Tom Yellowlees, who on being tackled managed to pass the ball back to the winger, who went over for the try. Full back Frankie Neale added two more points to his burgeoning total for the season by putting the conversion over for a 7-0 lead??.

On 13 minutes, Scottish extended their lead with winger David Howells showing a lightning-quick burst of speed, and from the ruck that ensued after his run was halted by the Stourbridge defence, fly half James Brown cleverly switched the point of attack with a deft kick that Broughton latched on to, enabling him to claim his second try of the afternoon. This time, however, Neale was unable to add the extra two points.??

But a little over ten minutes later, the visitors were right back in the match after No. 8 Seb Pearson evaded the Scottish defence and passed to full back Craig Richards, who ran in from just inside the 22 to touch down, making it 12-5 and completing the scoring for the first half.??

However, Scottish nerves were settled just four minutes after the restart when second row Alex Karonias got away down the left, and held up near the line, the ball subsequently spun out wide for Neale to go over, the full back kicking the conversion for a 19-5 lead.

Those turned out to be the final points of the afternoon as Stourbridge, despite a continued solid performance in the ruck and maul, found themselves unable to make the breakthrough thanks to a combination of handling errors and the resilience of the Scottish defence. ??

The hosts, for their part, were frustrated in their attempts to add a fourth try and thereby claim a bonus point, but Head Coach Brett Taylor said afterwards that he was pleased that the side’s solid defensive performance given platform for Scottish to come out on top.

Next week, Scottish make the trip down the M4 to Berkshire to face Newbury Blues, who lie ninth in the table following yesterday’s 29-3 defeat away at Redruth. Meanwhile, league leaders Esher, who scored eight tries yesterday as they dispatched Otley 57-10 up in Yorkshire, host second-bottom club Nuneaton.

Home Team
Away Team
Home Team
London Scottish: Neale, Broughton, McInroy, Trueman, (Captain), Howells, Brown, ?Amor, C Johnson, Silvester, Fahey, Karonias, Palmer, Volley, Yellowlees, Lipp (Replacements: Culley, Smith, Elis, Grant, Damant)
Away Team
Stourbridge: Richards, T Hughes, Robinson, Barkley, Johnson, Higgins, Richardson, Sturdy, Gerry, Lawrence, B Hughes, Homer, Rodley, Cooper (Replacements: Chance, Griffiths, S Baker, Kaylock, J Baker)??
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