Highlanders beaten by Irish in entertaining clash

27th November 2013

The Highlanders went down to a 45-30 defeat against London Irish at the Athletic Ground on Saturday in a Shield Division Two match.

After a short turnaround for 14 of the 19 players who played against Cambridge University earlier in the week, it was always going to be a tough game against an in-form Irish side.

However the boys were up for it and playing with the sun in the first half the kick-off had Irish under pressure.

Four minutes into the game a Scottish attacking line-out on the 22m went over the intended player but Francis Paopao-Brown was alert and gathered the ball to drive down the 15m channel.

With the ball set up by the forwards, a midfield play by the centres provided the quick ball that went wide for Will Alkin, at full-back to score. Scottish could not convert for the full compliment of points.

The second try for Scottish came from a scrum at half way.

Scottish could not control the ball at the base and after a couple of phases knocked it on for a Irish scrum.

Irish played a wide strike move but centre Tommy Cottrell read it well to intercept on the halfway to score an unconverted try with 13mins on the clock.

The hosts came unstuck when they failed to find touch from a penalty and reacted slowly in their defensive line.

Irish took advantage playing the ball across the field on the counter attack to exploit the narrow defence by the Highlanders and score in the corner to make it 10-5.

On the 28th minute a similar try followed with Scottish not finding touch with a clearance kick and Irish scored after a few phases with good continuity.

The try was converted and Irish now led for the first time with score at 10-12.

The Scots were struggling in the scrum and the referee awarded a penalty which gave Irish a line-out 20 metres out which they drove and with the flanker spinning off to score in the right corner it put them 10-17 up on 37 minutes.

London Scottish replied with some good phases in Irish territory that forced a penalty which Alkin kicked for a 13-17 half-time score. 

It was not long into the second half and Scottish replacement flanker, Dennis Gibson, collected an overthrow from an Irish line-out and made good yards, giving it to no. 8, Francis Paopao-Brown to offload to captain Cameron Leigh to score the first points of the half with Alkin converting.

Leading 20-17 Scottish were back in the lead and set the tone for an entertaining half which saw a yellow card to Scottish for sealing off while Irish came back to score two more tries before Irish added a penalty.

A last converted try by Scottish was then then followed by a very good effort by the London Irish pack to set up the last try of the game making the score 30-45 to the visitors.

The Highlanders will travel to Westcombe Park on Saturday (November 30) and the low intensity training week will hopefully be the right cure for a winning outcome!

1 Maurice Nwakor 
2 David Greene 
3 Cameron Leigh (c)
4 Julian Menéndez 
5 Chris Schikaneder
6 Francis Paopao-Brown
7 Harry McCartney 
8 Hamish Coventry 
9 Tom Trotter (vc)
10 Jason Wicherley 
11 Chris Asembo 
12 Sonny Johnson 
13 Tommy Cottrell 
14 Conrad Burne
15 Will Alkin 
16 Dennis Gibson
17 Andre Adeleke
18 Conrad Edgar
19 Tom Inglis

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