The 1st XV most certainly delivered on the weekend with a resounding 31-10 win over Nottingham at the RAG but it was also a good weekend for the rest of London Scottish with our Mini & Junior sections playing an array of fixtures many of which were against our Celtic counterparts London Irish and London Welsh. The London Scottish Lions also cemented their spot as league leaders with yet another convincing 5 point win.
Under 6s Match Report written by John Fletcher
London Irish gave the U6s a very warm welcome at a cold and windy Hazelwood. With about 30 squad members from Irish, we were outnumbered but never outplayed. The clubs were mixed together into 8 squads and after a warm up, rotated through touch games and training drills before finishing off with a relay race between all the squads.
As a nice touch, they let us run one of our regular training drills, with hurdles and slalom poles, and players from both sides had a great time building their running and handling skills and eventually racing against each other. And all this despite Iain’s excellent demonstration of “how not to do it” by sprinting back to the line with the ball in one hand!
Strong performances all round, with one of the London Irish coaches picking London Scottish’s Hector B as his player of the week and our own player of the week trophy went to Blake W, who despite colliding with a hurdle and taking a knock, dusted himself off and came back to finish very strongly.
At the end of the session, the “who do you play for?” cry was a close call between London Irish and ourselves. But we edged it: outnumbered but never outplayed.
Under 8s Match Report written by Mark Tweedie
Another great away day! Well done to all the hardy souls who braved the biting winds at London Irish on Sunday to ensure a great account was given by the exiled juniors of last season’s 6 Nations top half Celtic heavyweights. It is on days like this when the London Scots dig deep that we form the character and vertebrae of the great players of tomorrow.
The lads and lassies, playing on Burns night weekend showed all the poise of the great Bard, the speed of Tam O’Shanter’s loyal mare, Meg and all the fury of Cutty Sark. Well done London Scots. Great chieftains o the Junior Circuit.
The Scots were outnumbered but showed great class, self-belief, courtesy and prodigy. This side continues to gel and build brilliantly towards the Isle of Wight.
Next up we have the lassies address on Sunday when we look forward to welcoming our undefeated U18 girls.
Under 9s Match Report written by Jim Wright
A cold, damp and blustery morning greeted a record turnout from the Under 9 squad. Able to field three strong teams, Scottish enjoyed impressive results against some well-drilled London Irish squads and the best U9s that London Welsh had to offer.
It soon became apparent that the tackle-heavy training drills over the last three months had not been in vain, as allied to their natural flair, speed and attacking instinct the Scottish defensive lines were proving more than a match for their opponents. In the defensive vanguard, special mentions go to Sophie, Henry and Callum who all made more than their fair share of hits, winning turnovers and forcing knock-ons through their commitment and determination. The speed of the Scottish defensive line was best reflected by the interception tries that are becoming Rory’s trademark.
Scottish’s attacking intent was always close to the surface, with Frank, Adrien, Daniel, and Cameron combining to exploit the space that their straight running and quick hands created. The days of Scottish U9 players running from side to side rather than passing to team mates, or making defending easy by taking long lazy arcs into touch seem to be a dim and distant memory, with Daniel K, Magnus and Max all bringing the ball inside rather than drifting across the pitch.
The Scottish squads performed with great purpose and enthusiasm throughout the morning, despite the particularly wintery conditions that they faced. In addition to recognising the efforts of the players at this gathering of the clans, the coaches would also like to thank the parents for being so positive and supportive despite suffering frostbite and windburn whilst cheering the teams on. Whilst there are still areas for everyone to work on, this was a very strong yardstick of where the U9s have got to, and how good a group of players they are becoming.
Under 11s Match Report written by Jessica Laws & Alistair Gay
London Scottish Under 11s fielded two teams in the Celtic Triangular involving London Irish and hosts London Welsh. It was the third week of matches for the teams and whilst in their opening games they struggled to retain possession at the breakdown against well-drilled opponents, they showed focus and commitment in improving as they progressed through their matches, notching up a draw and a couple of wins between them.
It is clear that our players have progressed in recent weeks and are building well, as the Middlesex Festival and End of Season Tour approach. Individually, each player has shown in training that they can execute the necessary skills to compete across all aspects of the game. It is now about maintaining focus and translating those skills into matches on a consistent basis, until the final whistle.
It’s back at the RAG this week for training, allowing us the opportunity to build on the progress to date.
Special mention this week for Adam and Nico for their direct and powerful running, Rose for some excellent tackling and Joe for consistently securing our ball at ruck time.
Under 14s Match Report written by Larry Moore
Often after games that finish with a lop sided scoreline it is difficult to objectively assess whether anybody on the pitch really played well. When the first couple of phases of Scottish possession in this game were greeted with crunching tackles from the home team’s centre; it certainly appeared that there were some good players on the green team and they were fully committed.
However, a notable feature in those breakdowns and throughout the game was that Scottish kept possession and did not get flustered in transferring the ball to the very powerful and pacy back line, which was a welcome improvement over recent games. Indeed on a number of occasions when scrum half Ben L joined the ruck in order to secure possession a team mate would immediately fill in and distribute the ball. Ben had a very good game especially in making more breaks than is customary which kept the Reading defence narrow and thereby allowed more space outside fly half Conor McN.
The first try came after a short spell of attack that saw the ball find Captain for the day Finlay M who beat four players on an arcing run towards the touchline and rounded the opposition to score in the corner.
Shortly thereafter the same player turned over green possession before Robbie T saw a gap in the defence on the home 10m line and smoothly accelerated on his way to the scoring under the posts. Nikolaj McC converted.
Straight after the kick off Moore caught the ball and sythed through the defence to score again, which was also converted by McCormick. Moore completed his hat trick soon after once the front row of Amar Heder, Matteo Clements and Luke Peel won the ball against the head in a scrum 5m out allowing the No8 to pick it up and dive over.
Scoring for the first half was completed by Nikolaj who broke from the 10m line for a fine try which he converted himself.
Reading had two teams playing this day which were evenly split between the less and more able but a 7-36 half time scoreline is still an impressive statement of how far the players and the team have come in the last couple of seasons. There were some notable absentees today for a number of reasons which made the feat even more remarkable. Finlay Moore was rested towards the end of the half and after the break the Scots returned the two players that Reading had generously lent to them and played with just 13 men.
Bailey Bright saw more of the ball in the second half and always looked to step an opponent and always ensured that he was not isolated in the tackle. Likewise Conor McNeany was growing into the fly half position and there were impressive contributions from Luke Peel, who had his best game in a London Scottish shirt, and the straight running Finlay Turner.
One of this season’s new boys Owen Habbershaw defied the effects of illness during the week to produce some trademark tackles as well as the first try of the second half when finishing a back row pick up move. Soon after Robbie Thomson scored his second try of the game with a demonstration of his pace down the left hand side of the pitch. Nikolaj converted.
The last three tries all involved another of this season’s new players Zaki Osahn. Strong runs by Nikolaj and Zaki led to a ruck from which Finlay Moore nabbed the first Shortly after Zaki fielded a long kick by Reading and ran it back then passed to the ever improving Edan Calway who gave a sublime offload that allowed Finlay Moore to score his fifth try of the game and 20th try and 100 points for the season. Zaki then scored the last try of the game himself which was converted by Ben Littlefair.
Despite the seeming one-sided scoreline this was a good performance that showed personal and collective improvement.
Final Score: Reading 7 – 65 LSFC
Man of the Match: Bailey Bright
Under 17s Match Report written by Ian Hannah
London Scottish U17s ran in 11 tries as they convincingly beat second-placed Watford 57-7 in their first league match since the Christmas break.
Picking up where the team left off before Christmas the team played fast, fifteen man rugby despite the cold and windy conditions on the day. It was not a day for kickers and all Scottish’s points were scored from tries, including a penalty try in the second half. Coaches Michael and Neil were pleased with the performance which built on the Wednesday night training they and 1st XV prop Phil Cringle run for the team.
At times the team seemed unplayable as the players worked hard for each other supporting well on the back of big carries. With the second half of the season still to come we are looking forward to see how far this squad can go.
Special mention to Josh who had a nightmare of a journey with trains from Peckham cancelled. He turned up just in time to see the final try go in, but was applauded by the squad for his commitment and making it to the game.
Next week the U17s have a training weekend as many of our players are involved in County rugby again, so if you fancy coming down and trialling with the squad why not come along?
The U17s next league match is Sunday 10th February at Harringey.
London Scottish Girls
Star Under 18 player Freya Aucken was called up to Richmond Ladies 2nd XV and appeared for them last weekend, a great achievement. The Under 18 Girls side will also be down at the RAG this weekend helping out coaching the Mini section along with a host of the 1st XV players.
London Scottish Lions
It was a big weekend for the London Scottish Lions 1st XV as they took on second place Old Millhillians in a top of the table clash at the RAG. Despite a slow start, the Lions slowly composed themselves after absorbing a fair amount of pressure from Old Millhillians. A man of the match performance from local lad Rory Paris steered the Lions to a 38-20 victory. By far the closest game the Lions have had this season but after the win, the Lions now sit pretty atop of Herts/Middlesex 2 with a 10 point gap.
The London Scottish Lions 2nd XV did not fare so well as they took on Battersea Ironsiders 3s at the RAG. They were comfortably beaten by a well drilled Battersea side. The 2nd XV will face New Zealand Kiwis in their next game.
It was great to see members from both the London Scottish Lions 1st & 2nd XV’s hanging around at the RAG on Saturday to watch the Pro side take on Nottingham.