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Doncaster Knights – Online tickets available

Doncaster Knights – Online tickets available

Saturday's game against Doncaster Knights is set to be a crunch match in Scottish's league season.

Saturday’s game against Doncaster Knights is set to be a crunch match in Scottish’s league season.

Only one league place separates the two sides, but if the game were to go against Scottish, Doncaster would be over 15 points ahead with the play-off stages rapidly approaching.

MPU

Scottish will be hopeful that players are gradually returning from injury. Ben MacDougall is under consideration for selection following a hamstring injury, and Oli Grove has recovered following a shoulder problem sustained against Esher.

Head Coach Simon Amor has been working hard to try and bring in further recruits to strengthen a Scottish back line that has bourne the brunt of the injury problems this season. Keep checking www.londonscottish.com for any news on new signings.

Click here to purchase tickets for the game. 

London Scottish 20 – 25 Doncaster Knights

London Scottish 20 – 25 Doncaster Knights

In a hard physical encounter London Scottish lost out 20 - 25, after battling back from being 8 - 17 down at the half time break. A second half brace of James Kellard tries was not enough as the whole Scottish side gave their all throughout the game.

In a hard physical encounter London Scottish lost out 20 – 25, after battling back from being 8 – 17 down at the half time break. A second half brace of James Kellard tries was not enough as the whole Scottish side gave their all throughout the game.

On a bright crisp winter’s day, London Scottish introduced two new players into their back line.  Ryan Western made his debut on the wing after making his mid-week move from Cornish Pirates and centre Charlie Hayter was a last minute dual registered move from Worcester Warriors, having previously been out on loan at Nottingham earlier in the season.

MPU

In the opening phases of the game Scottish took play into the Doncaster Knights half, however it was the away side’s winger Michael Keating who nearly opened the scoring after 2 minutes.  He hacked the ball down the Scottish right flank and as he raced towards the bobbling ball he knocked on 5 metres short of the Scottish try line.  Shortly later, Scottish made their first good move of the match when Western made distance down the wing and as he moved beyond the Knights 10 metre line he off loaded  to the supporting hooker Adam Kwasnicki, who was on Western’s shoulder.  The play fizzled out as the covering Doncaster defence closed down the threat.

On the 9th minute Scottish opened the scoring when a Knights player was penalised for being off side just inside their 10 metre line in the middle of the pitch.  Fly half James Brown converted to put Scottish 3 – 0 up, for what ultimately turned out to be the only time in the match.  After 15 minutes the Knights put the Scottish defence under severe pressure which led to a penalty for the visitors after Scottish were penalised for being off side at the ruck immediately in front of the posts.  Fly half David McIllwaine converted easily to bring the sides all square.  The Knights scored their first try of the match on the 23rd minute after a good catch and drive at a line out 5 metres short of the Scottish try line.  The driving ruck was initially held up short, however second row Matt Challinor spun off the back of the ruck and was driven over by his fellow forwards in the corner.  McIllwaine converted a difficult kick to put the Knights ahead 3 – 10.

From the restart Scottish were unlucky when a good attacking move was developing in the visitors half.  Unfortunately second row Josh Brown knocked on when he received a difficult pass at speed. The Knights scored their second try on the 26th minute when their backs switched play to the left hand side of the park and they exploited an overlap.  Winger Keating made great ground down the Scottish right flank and as he closed down on the Scottish try line he off loaded to the supporting centre Fred Burdon touching down beneath the posts.  McIllwaine added the extras to put Doncaster in a commanding 3 – 17 lead.  A period of Scottish pressure through their forwards ensued as they took the play deep into the Knights 22 metre area.  A series of driving mauls forced the visitors onto the back foot and following four consecutive scrums the Knights flanker Latu Makaafi was yellowed carded for deliberately killing the ball when Scottish had a clear try scoring opportunity.  Scottish immediately used their player advantage and from a rolling maul second row Steve Pape dived over.  Brown missed the conversion attempt to leave the half time score 8 – 17.

Scottish made a change at half time with Dan Mugford replacing James Brown at fly half.  The Scottish forwards were now dominating the set piece as the second half began to develop and the Knights scrum began to creak.  On the 53rd minute Scottish were awarded another penalty for a front row infringement at the scrum with Mugford missing his conversion attempt as the ball drifted to the left of the posts.  Just before the hour mark Scottish scored their second try of the match when winger Augustin Gosio delightfully chipped over the oncoming Knights defence and re-collected his own kick and then quickly off loaded to the supporting flanker James Kellard.  Kellard then raced towards the Doncaster try line, with three of the visitor defenders hanging onto him as he crossed over the try line to score.  Mugford missed the conversion attempt, but the score certainly put Scottish back in the match.

Doncaster then raised their own game and on the 64th minute Scottish were penalised immediately in front of their posts in the 22 metre area for not rolling away at a ruck. McIilwaine converted to push the visitors 13 – 20 up.  Not to be out done and sensing plenty of opportunities to get back into the game the Scottish forwards began pressing forward.  On the 70th minute Kellard scored his second try of the match after he was put through by fellow flanker Ben Lonergan.  Mugford converted to make the scores all square at 20 – 20 and set up a grandstand finish.  Full credit to Doncaster in the final ten minutes of the match as their covering defence was outstanding and closed down any Scottish opportunity to break out of their stranglehold which they imposed on the match.  The Doncaster backs scored the final points of the match on the 73rd minute as they moved the ball through hands out to winger Ben Toft to score out wide close to the corner flag.  McIllwaine missed the conversion attempt, but the visitors held firm until the referee blew the final whistle. 

A tremendous performance by the whole Scottish squad, who battled hard throughout the match in a tough physical encounter.  The team need to eliminate the unforced errors and the victories will come as their efforts duly deserve.  The team now moves onto their final British & Irish Cup match of the season next Saturday against their fellow illustrious Scottish opponents Melrose.  It’s sure to be a Scottish pre-Xmas cracker, so make sure you look out for the match preview later in the week.

James Kellard was awarded the First Cape Wines sponsored Man of the Match award.

 

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