The London Scottish 1st XV began the season in high spirits. With a pre season victory over Edinburgh Rugby, the introduction of a new coaching staff, new training base and a strategic partnership with Harlequins in place, the expectations were high.
However, much of the first half of the season saw the squad face teething issues, with a young squad bedding into Championship Rugby it took time for the group to come accustomed to the levels expected of them in every game.
The first win of the season came against Caldy RFC in December in front of a bumper RAG crowd. This was followed up by a last minute defeat against Doncaster Knights away from home, lifting the collective spirits of supporters and players alike.
The second half of the season continued to be an uphill battle. However, those watching every week could see the squad building game on game, and getting closer to that illusive result they so craved.
That finally came on a wet, windy and cold Friday Night in Hartpury. With just three games to go and a seven-point deficit to overcome to avoid relegation in the league, it was now or never. And so it proved, a 22-12 victory set up an almighty clash against Richmond the following week.
In the blazing sunshine a week later, the players once again delivered on the biggest stage. A 49-3 defeat of the old rivals Richmond. It was the culmination of everything the side had been working towards all season and it came at the crucial town.
However, the job wasn’t done yet. The small matter of a win at Nottingham was needed to secure Championship status for the following year. It was nail-biting game which saw London Scottish defend a one-point lead for the best part of half an hour but the Exiles prevailed to complete ‘the great escape’ and another year in the second tier of English rugby.
Across the whole season the side endeavored to play with freedom and flair despite the pressure on them. It’s something the squad continue to aim to do and entertain the London Scottish faithful into the 2023/24 season.
London Scottish – P 22 / W 4 / D 0 / L 18 / PF 419 / PA 706 / Diff -287 / TB 5 / LB 5 / Pts 66