London Scottish Highlanders 5-48 London Irish – The Shield Division 2, 9 February 2013
A spirited effort from Scottish could not prevent a strong Irish outfit reaching a scoreline very close to the result at Sunbury in the reverse fixture in the autumn. Scottish had their moments and held Irish well in the first and third quarters, but two late converted tries from Irish stretched their margin of victory. Scottish fielded a front row for competitive scrums for the first time this year, but were missing regular half-backs.
It was all Irish for the first five minutes, but they passed up several chances as Scottish defended stoutly and then broke out through Cotterill, May and Sabau, ending with Perrin being held up just short of the line. A Scottish try was not long delayed, as Millar made the initial break and the recycled ball was moved right for Graham to touch down.
Irish returned upfield and pressed, but Scottish defended well, before Irish equalised after 17 minutes in the left corner through pace and quick hands. Five minutes later Irish took the lead with a similar finish in the right corner. The balance of play evened out for a while, but the Irish scrum began to get on top, resulting in a further try after a series of 5 metre scrums and penalties. Irish maintained the pressure and soon scored again for a 19 point half-time lead.
Scottish competed well in the second half, and had been pressing, when the speedy Irish 12 was put away on the wing from halfway for a try on 57 minutes. He scored again in the corner on 70 minutes. Scottish mounted a late series of attacks but were undone by an Irish ‘Hogg-like’ interception. Irish scored again more or less from the restart to rub salt in Scottish wounds, before the referee decided that was enough with the full-time whistle.
Team: 15 Joel Maisey; 14 Delroy Sabau, 13 Tommy Cotterill , 12 Nick Kendall, 11 Mark Canning; 10 Josh Graham, 9 Aaron Perrin; 8 Stuart May, 7 Mike Howlett, 6 Hamish Coventry; 5 Dennis Gibson, 4 Alasdair Reid; 3 David Greene, 2 Fraser Millar, 1 Conor Turner.
Replacements: Eliot Fallon, Ollie Sanderson, Gregor Sanderson, Pete Bremner, Julian.
Scoring sequence: 5-0 (9 mins), 5-5 (17), 5-10 (22), 5-17 (34), 5-24 (37); 5-29 (57), 5-34 (70), 5-41 (76), 5-48 (77).
Conditions: Cold, drizzly. RAG Pitch 4 fine.