Late Surge Denies Scottish First Win of 2024

25th February 2024

You almost couldn’t write the scripts this season for London Scottish. Of the last seven games for the Exiles six of them have been decided by a kick or a try in the final play of the game. A day out at the RAG is almost guaranteed to end in drama and the visit of Caldy was no exception.

After a period without any competitive fixtures London Scottish were after a fast start but it was the hosts who began the stronger. A string of penalties against the hosts eventually allowed Caldy to get down to the Scottish line. A combination of the driving maul and strong forward carries got the away side their first try of the day.

However, the Exiles would respond well. First through a Lloyd-Seed penalty to cut the deficit and then a Ioan Rhys Davies try from short range after a brilliant break down the right hand side from Luke Mehson.

Scottish would keep up the pressure with quick rucks and fast ball movement from the base. All of this accuracy and intent would result in a Dan Nutton try as he found the gap around the fringes. Two successful conversions from Lloyd-Seed saw Scottish take a 10 point lead with the score at 17-7.

However, Caldy would bounce back, taking advantage of Scottish ill discipline to find territory and eventually the driving maul would bare fruit to bring them back into the game.

In a seesawing game it was Scottish who would score next. After a string of penalties and pressure, the returning Harry Sheppard bust the line from short range and did well to finish under the sticks and restoring the lead for the Exiles.

With just minutes on the first half clock, Caldy ramped up the pressure. Scottish discipline would let them down at the maul and a result London Scottish would end the half down to thirteen men. A try to round things off and Caldy would go into half time just five points behind and facing a depleted London Scottish side for the start of the second half.

With two men in the bin at the start of the second forty, London Scottish knew they had to play smart to stay ahead in the game. They did just that, kicking intelligently and avoiding the Caldy set piece. Two penalties from fly half Lloyd-Seed would in fact extend the lad by six points after the break and a further nudge from just inside the Caldy half would see London Scottish extend the lead to 33-19.

However, entering the final quarter, Caldy began to mount their fightback. Once again making the most of Scottish ill discipline to find the line with just ten minutes to go through their forward pack.

With the clock running out Caldy once again worked the position deep in the Scottish 22. With an edge in the scrum Caldy went for the kill with multiple penalties and attempts Scottish eventually forced the away side to play away but would once again infringe on the edge. Caldy went to the corner and throwing almost the entire fifteen into the maul eventually found their way over the line. Step up Ben Jones who nailed the touchline conversion to bring the scores level!

An immensely entertaining game at the RAG as always but one London Scottish will feel that slipped away. Lots of positives to take away but the ability to win close games has once again illuded the Exiles.

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