London Scottish U14s have played back to back league games over the last two weeks, and the squad have come out ahead both times.
Going into this match London Scottish were second in the league, with the visitors, Chess Valley, third, so it was always likely to be a tough contest. To come out with a four try, bonus point win was all that could be asked of the team.
With only one league game left, London Scottish are now in control of their destiny, and whether they can get one of the two promotion places that would earn them back to back promotions since entering the leagues last year.
On a sunny, but windy day, London Scottish began on the back foot as the visitors worked play up to an attacking position, and then put the ball through their hands to score through one of their speedsters on the left wing. Scottish put the mishap behind them and started to string some phases together. Having worked on long placements at the ruck and recycling the ball quickly in our Wed training session, it was great to see the boys putting it into practice on the field and working their way up the field with breaks from around the ruck before putting the ball wide for Seth to score on the wing.
The half continued in much the same form with good close control, and the second try came when the ball was released to Thomas standing at first receiver and barrelling his way over. Konrad went over for the third with some more direct running in the 10-12 channel. Scottish’s fourth was scored by the irrepressible Marcel who, after Scottish had put in some good defence, broke out from our 22 and cantered through the scattered defence to score the bonus point try.
Chess Valley came back with one of their own when the Scottish tackling let them down allowing one of Chess Valley’s talented players to dance through from close range.
The second half didn’t go quite to plan, and Scottish left a number of points on the pitch when it looked like they must score. Once again they strung some great phases together, kept good control of the ball close to the ruck, and kept the Chess Valley tacklers tight in, which created space for the backs so that when we span the ball out we looked certain to score. Sadly the last pass didn’t go to hand on a number of occasions with the try line begging, on another day those will need to be scored.
In defence though, Scottish showed how far they have come this season. At the beginning of the season Scottish didn’t look comfortable in their 22, and the opposition would often come away with a score. Now, they are far more composed, and comfortably fashion an exit, often turning deep defence into attack. The pressure they put on the opposition backs forcing handling errors, coupled with the drive and determination shown by the pack in driving mauls back is impressive.
With no score in the second half the players headed off the field proud of their efforts. Chess Valley challenged the boys to their usual “Muddy Puddle” (Coke and orange juice) and duly won that contest. All the best to them as they face league leaders Ampthill in their final league game. Scottish meanwhile head into the half term break in good spirits, playing good rugby, and looking forward to their final games of the season.