It’s safe to say 2023 was a rollercoaster ride for London Scottish and their Head Coach Joe Gray. Starting the year rock bottom of the Championship only to pull away in the final three games of the season to secure their league status.
The 2023/24 season has been full of ups and down as well. In their last four games London Scottish have won one and lost three all with a score in the final minute of the game. That one win came against perennial Championship leaders and big spenders Ealing Trailfinders. A first for London Scottish since Ealing were promoted to the Championship.
However, last minute losses to Hartpury and Cambridge have taken the shine of a year where Joe Gray and his coaching team have overseen a transformation of this London Scottish side.
Coming back into camp for 2024 Joe noted ‘it has been a great break for the boys, obviously it was a tough last month of the year with an extreme high of beating Ealing and then a couple of really close losses. We lost a three games in the equivalent of about two minutes of rugby.”
Since the squad have reconvened in the New Year the focus has been on taking the learnings and finding ways to improve from what have overall been strong performances let down in key moments.
Joe said “we’ve looked at lots of different points but ultimately we haven’t been ahead much as a group in the last eighteen months. Instead we’ve been chasing games and we’re pretty good at that.”
“But to actually go in at half time with decent leads is something new to us. Then we have become a bit loose at the start of the second half and made games closer than they should be. So we just looked at the game plan and how we can force pressure onto the other team as well as how we create at relieve pressure.”
Joe is also delighted to be able to welcome back or be close to welcoming back some new faces after injury. Club captain Dan Nutton is now fully fit to return to the fold after a foot injury. Second row pairing Marijn Huis and Matt Wilkinson are also nearing a return to full fitness following lenghty spells on the sidelines.