Highlanders find clinical form

07th November 2013

The Highlanders were asked for a performance and for most of the game against Guildford A they delivered in particular the first half of this Shield 2 clash at the Athletic Ground.

The game started for Scottish by applying pressure to Guildford's take from the kick-off and the loose ball gathered in by Scottish.

Two minutes of relentless attack forced Guildford to use four professional fouls in a row and the referee had no choice but to give out a yellow to Guildford for the repeated offence.

Scottish opted for a line-out but the throw wasn't straight and a scrum for Guildford on their own 5m was put under pressure by the Scottish eight.

Guildford picked and drove but flanker, Dennis Gibson, held the player up and stripped the ball to drive over for the try in the left corner and converted by Alex Akoto playing fly-half on the day.

With the score at 7-0 after 3 minutes and Guildford down to 14 men, Scottish wanted to take full advantage.

From the restart the ball was driven up by Gibson, followed by good carries from the forwards to produce good ball that went through a few hands to find centre, Tom Atkinson, to score in the right corner less than 5 mins into the game.

Scottish were playing their best rugby so far this season saw clinical play after a strong 30m carry from Harry McCartney, trying out at hooker, leaving the backs to attack with hard lines and Ben Pattenden running in for a ruthless try!

A similar pattern repeated itself after Guildford had some ball but an excellent turn over from McCartney, the ball was played to the blindside with good hands found speedster Asembo on the wing to beat his opponent and delivered a great inside pass to Pattenden to score his second 14 minutes into the game giving the Highlanders a 22-0 lead.

Six minutes later Guildford returned a kick and found Chris Asembo on his own 10m to run in a 60m try beating a couple defenders. Akoto converted.

Guildford had no choice but to keep the ball when they got hold of it and the next 15 minutes was a case of mistakes by both sides but Guildford starting to find their way taking quick taps through Scottish's offside penalties which resulted in another yellow but this time to Scottish.

However a strong turnover from captain, Cameron Leigh, gave scrum half Pattenden the chance to exploit space with a kick chased down by Asembo and flanker, Sam Mantle, for Mantle to gather the ball on the bounce and over the line to score.

The conversion was good and Scottish lead 36-0 at half time.

The 2nd half was more even and with Guildford this time starting off by applying the most pressure by good play through a line-out drive to set up a second drive from which they scored in the right corner.

The visiting team continued with some good play while Scottish were made to defend.

10 minutes in another yellow to Scottish gave Guildford the chance to take their second try with good interplay and a strong run by the centre. Converted meant the score stood at 36-12 with 25 minutes left in the game.

Scottish started to get the ball in hand and made some good yards but when a penalty was awarded to the Highlanders, a quick tap by Trotter gave Sam Matanle his second try beating all with his pace to score the first try for Scottish in the second half on the 59th minute, converted by Akoto.

The Highlanders were back to the high intensity that we saw in the first half and at 64 minutes on the clock the ball was kept alive through numerous off-loads and clinical handling for centre Sonny Johnson to score the last try of the game converted by Akoto again. Final score 50-12.


1 Maurice Nwakor, 2 Harry McCartney, 3 Cameron Leigh, 4 Tim Oakes, 5 Hamish Coventry, 6 Dennis Gibson, 7 Sam Matanle, 8 Louie Sutherland, 9 Ben Pattenden, 10 Alex Akoto, 11 Chris Asembo, 12 Sonny Johnson, 13 Tom Atkinson, 14 Conrad Burne, 15 Ben Murphy, 16 Will Bayliss-Brown, 17 Julian Menéndez, 18 Conor Turner, 19 Tom Inglis, 20 Tom Trotter.

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