Close wins seem to be the order of the day this weekend and after the 1st XV came off with a 25-24 win over Cornish Pirates in the league, it was the Colts’ (sponsored by Friends of Scottish Rugby) turn as they ran out worthy winners in a close 20-19 win vs Teddington on Sunday.
The Scots played with London Welsh in this fixture as a joint exile team, however the opening exchanges were nervy and saw unforced errors from both sides early on. Teddington were not committing to the breakdown so it gave them numbers outside, this limited the space for the Colts to work with.
However, when Teddington had the ball they knocked on at outside half, and inside centre within a couple of minutes, both from first phase possession. It needed one team to start taking control and it was the Colts who duly fronted up.
A couple of phases after the first lineout and the ball was shipped right through the backs, Gabe saw the way ahead blocked so tried a chip and chase. However, just too much weight on the kick meant it rolled dead before he could get there.
Aided by some indiscipline from Teddington, taking the scrum half out at the ruck a couple of times, the Colts started putting some phases together. Again the ball came right and Gabe made no mistake this time, going in at the corner to take the first points and go 5-0 ahead.
The Colts fluffed the restart, knocking the ball on and then giving away a penalty allowing Teddington to take the play deep into our 22m. Eventually, from a 10m scrum on the right, Teddington floated a long pass in the backs, almost intercepted by Ollie, but it got through, and with our defence out of position, allowed them in on the left, 5-5 became 5-7 as Teddington completed a good conversion.
At the restart it was our turn to kick long and this time we kept the pressure on deep in Teddington’s 22m. After a few phases Teddington gave up a penalty which the Colts took quickly and went through on the left to take us to 10-7. Teddington kicked long, Gabe fielded deep, and after a number of passages of play we had worked our way back to just outside their 22m.
Teddington picked off our lineout, but their resultant maul was held up and the scrum went to us. Great hands from the backs took the play quickly from the far right to the far left and resulted on the try of the match as Finn B broke the defence to score in the corner.
With the score at 15-7 the Colts were starting to look good. A penalty restart should have given the Colts a further advantage but some broken field play allowed Teddington to run it back to our line. Rugged defence meant we turned the ball over, but the kick didn’t find touch and Teddington put the pressure back on us.
Scrappy ball from a lineout on our 22 saw the backs having to work hard to gain possession, unfortunately a knock on gave Teddington a scrum midway into our 22.
With the try-line begging and men outside Teddington looked to have squandered their advantage, but ill-discipline gave them a penalty under the posts.
The Colts defence continued fighting for everything, but in the end Teddington found a gap and went over for the try which they duly converted, 15-14 at half time.
The second half kicked off and neither side was able to gain much advantage. The Colts didn’t make 10m at the restart, but Teddington were then pinged for holding on after a tackle deep in our half. The relieving kick took play to half way and neither side able to make much of their possession.
Offside by the Colts meant Teddington could kick to the corner. However, some great defence and a steal from Jackson gave the Colts a chance to kick out to midfield. Teddington knocked on giving the scrum to the Colts on our 22m we duly knocked on and handed it back to them.
A further penalty took them to our line and a scrum 5. The Colts dealt with it well and gained a 22m drop out which they would have taken quickly if they had been allowed.
The Colts were unable to break loose though, and when Teddington took a scrum against the head they raced in for a score on the left. With the conversion missed the score was 15-19 and we headed for the final minutes.
Teddington didn’t help themselves with a foot up in the scrum, followed up with some back-chat that allowed us to gain territory. It looked like we had a break on the left, but the ref called us back for an earlier penalty.
A couple of penalties later and we kicked for the corner for one last effort. A crisp lineout throw and the ball came to Finn S who took it on himself to scrape through the defence, 20-19 and the final whistle brought the game to a satisfying end.