It’s been a busy few weeks for the London Scottish mini’s section. With back to back festivals playing in the Richmond mini’s festival prior to playing in our own tournament the week after it’s been a fun-filled few weeks of rugby.
With the festivals now over until towards the end of the season, it’s now back to the training pitch for all age groups allowing both coaches and players alike to enjoy the successes of the past few weeks as well as turning one eye to forthcoming festivals and indeed the much anticipated end of season tour.
With plenty to be excited about in the coming weeks make sure to keep an eye on the next edition of the One Club Round Up to stay up to date.
Ross Peacock – Rugby Director
Throughout their progress up the age groups this cohort has always had fewer players than most clubs. The advantages of this state of affairs are not always readily acknowledged but it does mean that players get equal game time and equal attention from the coaches and they also get to play in different positions thereby improving the range of skills of each player.
Playing a friendly againsta team in the same division Scottish used the absence of skipper and fly half Joey, influential loose head Alfie and other squad members to try new combinations. Furthermore a smattering of newer players such as Carlos- a rugby newbie from Brazil – and Campbell – rugby playing stock via Hong Kong – added style and flair. But it was Robbie who scored first by running back the opening kick-off wide out on the left. Further tries byRobbie again, Finlay M and Nikolaj plus a conversion by Ben brought the half time score to 22-5.
Teddington were a well drilled side for a team playing at this level and their powerful drives around the tuck tested the Scottish defence. However, tackles were rarely missed and some particularly notable hits were made by Finlay M, Zaki and Owen meant that the guests rarely profited.
LSFC 1st XV Player Dan Barnes and England 7s’ Emma Uren have added sn extra level of knowhow to the training sessions this season and the boys’ work at the breakdown is paying off.
After the break tries by Matteo, Nikolaj and Robbie plus a Finlay M conversion against a converted try by Teddington brought the score to 39-12.
It appears that Scottish will have another successful season even though they will have harder games than this one. Despite that the aim of improving each and every player will continue even if it sacrifices winning margins to do it.
Larry Moore – U15’s Lead Coach
Playing on Ealing’s 4G pitch, with a full camera crew in attendance, Scottish were up against a strong Ealing team who I’d be expected to be one of the front runners for the league this season. From the first scrum it was obvious that Ealing had an advantage in the pack, however the Scots kept at it through the match and achieved parity by the end. Scots, made good use of possession when it came, and kept Ealing in their 22m for long periods of the game, however crucially were not able to make possession and territory count. Ealing, on the other hand, used their big pack to advantage when in the Scots 22m and scored their first after 20 mins by wearing down the great Scottish defence through phase after phase of attritional attack. 10 mins later a second followed to take them to a 10-0 lead at half time.
In the second half the Scots got back into the game quickly, scoring two of their own to take the lead 12-10 to go into the final quarter. Ealing then pulled together their best move of the day, winning the line out on the right of the 22, putting it through the hands, to take play over to the far left of the field. They then pulled it back in the subsequent phases and scored on the left close to touch. 12-15 left the game finely balanced, and the Scots again put pressure on Ealing and had them pinned in their 22 for a while, however with a penalty going long, we allowed Ealing to exit to halfway as the clocked ticked into the final 5 minutes play. Crushingly, Ealing kicked through and followed up by getting their academy hooker on the charge from deep within our 22. You could hear the relief in their cheer as they scored as this match could have gone either way up until then.
So the Scots came away losing 12-22, but relishing the return match vs Ealing later in the season and will know they can reverse the outcome at home.
Ian Hannah – Convener of Colts
Girl’s Rugby Update:
On Wednesday 9th October, London Scottish Girls Rugby hosted girls from year’s 8 & 9 in four local schools. 45 girls from Orleans Park School, Grey Court School, St Richard Reynolds School and The Richmond Upon Thames School spent an hour and a half down at RAG reinforcing what they are learning in school, brushing up on skills and getting some training game time. In a couple of weeks’ time we will be hosting them again in preparation for their borough tournament and potential participation in the London Youth Games. Thank you to all the girls who attended and we look forward to seeing you all back down at the Athletic Ground early next month.
Tim Lawn – Head of Girl’s Rugby
With the first half term of the academic year coming to an end, it’s been a busy six weeks for the London Scottish Community Team. Pupils aged 5 – 15 have received sessions from London Scottish community coaches and professional players during both curricular and extra-curricular time and we look forward to seeing as many of you down at the Athletic Ground in the coming weeks whether it be to watch, play or both.
With a bit of down time before the second half term begins and the lead up to Christmas well and truly starts, the community team turn their heads to a number of exciting events that they have running, the Kingston Borough Tag Festival, Middlesex Rugby Pitch Up and Play to name a few.
Make sure and keep an eye on next week’s edition to ensure you can be part of what are shaping up to be some great events!
Ross Peacock – Rugby Director