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Scottish Ready for ‘Huge Battle’ against Moseley

Scottish Ready for ‘Huge Battle’ against Moseley

London Scottish go into this game joint top of the Championship Relegation Pool with Moseley, separated only by points difference.

London Scottish go into this game joint top of the Championship Relegation Pool with Moseley, separated only by points difference.

Moseley’s 25-17 win over Plymouth Albion got their playoff campaign off to the best possible start, ensuring two sides full of confidence take to the pitch on Sunday.

MPU

Moseley’s regular season results saw them finish one place and one point behind Scottish in the final table, so the sides are closely matched going into today’s clash. They have reason to feel confident of avoiding the drop, with results against fellow relegation candidates throughout the season mainly going their way. Home and away wins against Esher and a tight home win against Plymouth Albion may give them an edge against these opponents; however results against Scottish have proved a different story.

Losses home and away to Scottish will have fired up Sunday’s opponents, and Head Coach Simon Amor has described today’s game as ‘a huge battle’.

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Scottish Win To Go Top Of Playoff Pool

Scottish Win To Go Top Of Playoff Pool

London Scottish successfully negotiated step two of the play off campaign when they defeated Moseley 23 - 20 in a very physical and bruising encounter. The score line flattered Moseley as they gained their losing bonus point after they scored their second try of the match in the 88th minute of the game. This win places Scottish at the top of Pool C, and the team can look forward with confidence to their next match away at Plymouth Albion.

London Scottish successfully negotiated step two of the play off campaign when they defeated Moseley 23 – 20 in a very physical and bruising encounter. The score line flattered Moseley as they gained their losing bonus point after they scored their second try of the match in the 88th minute of the game. This win places Scottish at the top of Pool C, and the team can look forward with confidence to their next match away at Plymouth Albion.

On an overcast day Scottish kicked off playing towards the sports club end of the ground with a slight breeze behind their backs.  Scottish made two changes from their starting line up, with Stuart Peel coming in at full back and Alex Clarke taking the loosehead role in the pack.  Scottish immediately took play to Moseley in the opening phases of the game and put their opponents under pressure.

MPU

Scottish opened the scoring on the 5th minute when the forwards and backs took play deep into the Moseley half of the field.  The ball was continually re-cycled between the forwards and backs with the ball eventually being moved out to winger Gerald Mullen, who weaved his way through the Moseley defence and touched down out wide in the corner.  Fly half Dan Mugford converted a difficult attempt to put the team ahead 7 – 0.  Moseley reduced the arrears on the 9th minute when Scottish were penalised after they were caught offside just outside their 22 metre area immediately in front of the posts.  Winger Oliver Thomas converted the penalty to leave the score 7 – 3.

Moseley created a very good move shortly after when they broke out of their own half, with centre Greg King being eventually stopped just outside of the Scottish 22 metre, area when he knocked on in the tackle.  At the resulting scrum Moseley were penalised as the dominating Scottish pack drove their opponents back, with the opposition pack collapsing the scrum.  From the penalty Scottish took play up to the half way line.  Shortly after Scottish was forced to make a change in their line up when Simon Amor came off and was replaced by Matt Heeks.  On the 18th minute Moseley were caught offside after the Scottish pack produced a tremendous series of rolling mauls taking play to just inside the away side’s 22 metre area in centre of the park.  Mugford converted to push the Scottish lead back out to 10 points.

On the 24th minute Scottish scored their second try of the match, after a scintillating series of moves by the backs.  Scottish took play from just inside their own half when centre Ryan Westren made a great half break and was supported by his fellow backs.  As full back Stuart Peel took play into the Moseley 22 metre area he attempted to pass the ball, Scottish however benefited from a ricochet in play when the ball bounced off one of the Moseley players into the hands of Mullen.  Mullen put the after burners on and raced away from the trailing Moseley defence to score out wide in the corner for his second try of the match.  Mugford again converted a difficult attempt to put Scottish ahead 17 – 3.  From the re-start a number of the Moseley forwards were adjudged to have been in front of the kicker.  At the resulting scrum Scottish were penalised and Moseley took play close to the Scottish 22 metre area.

Fair play to Moseley and for the next 10 minutes or so the Moseley forwards put the Scottish defence under severe pressure.  They probed the Scottish defence by taking the play from one side of the pitch to the other.  The Scottish immense defence held firm throughout and excellent tacking prevent the Moseley side from finding any way through.  One fine example in this period of play was when the Moseley attack was 5 metres short of the Scottish try line; the Scottish forwards were able to turn the ball over and from the relieving kick took play short of the halfway line.  On the 33rd minute Scottish were penalised just inside their half for not releasing the player in the tackle.  Thomas converted to leave the score 17 – 6.  There were no further scores for the remainder of the half.

On the 44th minute the Scottish winger Agustin Gosio made a very good break down the right flank.  He chipped over his opposite number, however, the Moseley winger stood his ground and Gosio bounced off him preventing him from getting to the bouncing ball.  In the opening 10 minutes of the second half, the Scottish forwards took play to the West Midlands outfit and on the 48th minute they drove deep into the Moseley 22 metre area.  At a ruck 15 metres out from the away sides try line the referee initially penalised Scottish at a ruck.  He then immediately reversed this decision, however Scottish continued playing on the basis that advantage was with them with flanker James Kellard touching down to the left of the posts.  To the dismay of the crowd the referee pulled play back to where he had whistled for the penalty to Scottish.  Mugford converted the penalty to put Scottish ahead 20 – 6.  

Moseley bounced back immediately and as Scottish moved the ball out to the wing from the re-start, their winger Bradley Hunt intercepted a wayward pass by the Scottish backs and raced away to touch down in the corner.  Thomas converted to reduce the arrears to 20 -13.  On the 55th minute the Moseley backs produced another good move when Hunt again made a good half break and he was tackled in the Scottish 22 metre area with play breaking down.  Thomas missed with a penalty attempt on the 59th minute, after Mugford was penalised for not releasing the tackled player.  As play moved into the final ten minutes Moseley were penalised for not rolling away at a ruck just inside their half.  Mugford pulled his conversion attempt with the ball drifting to the left of the posts.  Mugford was replaced after the conversion attempt, by James Brown.

In the closing stages of normal time, Scottish increased their lead to 10 points when Brown coolly stroked over a drop goal after a period of intense pressure in the Moseley 22 metres area.  As play moved into injury time Moseley continued to press for a try and hence a losing bonus point, which did come on the 8th minute of injury time.  The away side first pressed down the Scottish left flank and as play moved into their 22 metre area the assistant referee flagged for a high tackle after Scottish flanker Adam Kleeburger had used his arm across the Moseley player’s chest.  Moseley switched play to Scottish right flank.  Thomas converted to leave the score 23 – 20.  To the surprise of the Scottish crowd the referee awarded Moseley a penalty from the half way line even though they had gained advantage from the tackle infringement.  To their relief the penalty conversion attempt by Thomas fell well short of the posts.  Peel immediately kicked the ball into touch and the referee then blew the full time whistle.

This victory over Moseley was Scottish’s third of the season over the West Midlands side and was the hardest gained.  Scottish now head Pool C and are the only team in the Pool with a 100% win record.  The team are playing with a tremendous team spirit and confidence.  The team have a short turn around before they move onto their next match away to Plymouth Albion on Friday night.  Look out for the match preview which will appear on the website later in the week.

Flanker Adam Kleeburger was awarded the FirstCape Wines sponsored Man of the Match award.

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