London Scottish produced a fine display in their first outing of the season, defeating Rotherham Titans 21-7 in their only pre-season friendly before the start of the Greene King IPA Championship campaign.
First half tries from Drew Locke, Mark Bright and Chris Walker were enough for the Scots to secure the victory, with an impressive defensive performance in the second half restricting the Titans to limited opportunities.
It was a slow start to the match for both sides, before three tries in 11 minutes put the hosts in control.
Drew Locke scored a debut try on 28 minutes, the centre who joined from Jersey in the summer was first to cross the line in emphatic fashion. Jason Harries made a break through the defence over the half-way line, and offloaded to Locke who ran in unattended under the posts. Pete Lydon’s first conversion of the night gave the Scots a 7-0 advantage.
Mark Bright was next to get over the line just six minutes later. A five-metre line-out led to a trademark driving maul, and the New Zealander inevitably rumbled over to open his account for the season. Another conversion from Lydon put the Scots 14-0 ahead.
Chris Walker scored just before half-time to send Scottish down the tunnel with a 21-point advantage. Dan Newton’s cross-field kick changed the angle of attack, and Walker was on hand a number of phases later to drive over the line and please the rain-coated Athletic Ground crowd.
The second-half was a relatively non-eventful affair as both sides emptied their benches to utilise the pre-season fully, but the Scottish defence were an almost unbreakable unit throughout.
Rotherham got a deserved try on 65 minutes through Jordan Davies. The centre had space on the wing, and was able to dot down to give the travelling supporters something to cheer about.
Jamie Davies nearly scored a fourth try for Scottish with 10 minutes left, but when it appeared that he had enough pace to get to the line he was bundled into to touch by a number of scrambling Titans defenders.
The rain was caused an error-strewn climax to the match, and it finished with the Scots deserved winners ahead of the season opener against Moseley on Friday, 4th September at the Athletic Ground.
Hear from Drew Locke, Oli Grove and Will Carrick Smith talking to LSTV here.
15 Pete Lydon (replaced by Craig Jackson), 14 Jason Harries, 13 Drew Locke (replaced by Jamie Davies), 12 Oli Grove, 11 Andrew Turner, 10 Dan Newton, 9 Matt Heeks (replaced by Russel Weir, replaced by Ben Calder), 1 James Litchfield (replaced James Gibbons), 2 Adam Kwasnicki (replaced by Tyrone Moran), 3 Ben Prescott, 4 Josh Thomas Brown (replaced by Chevvy Pennycook), 5 Will Carrick Smith (replaced by Neale Patrick), 6 Rory Bartle, 7 Chris Walker (replaced by Alex Brown), 8 Freddie Clarke (replaced by Mark Bright)
James Gibbons,David Cherry,Tyrone Moran,Neale Patrick,Chevvy Pennycook,Alex Brown,Mark Bright,Russel Weir,Ben Calder,J Davies,C Jackson,G Jackson
Tries: Drew Locke (28 minutes) Mark Bright (35 minutes) Chris Walker (39 minutes)
Conversions: Pete Lydon (28, 35, 39 minutes)
Yellow Card: Adam Kwasnicki
15 Sean Scanlon, 14 Curtis Wilson, 13 Jordan Davies, 12 Will Owen, 11 Michael Keating, 10 Tom Barrett, 9 Luke Carter, 1 Toby Williams (replaced by Robin Hislop), 2 Charlie Maddison, 3 Mark Tampin, 4 Tom Holmes (Capt.), 5 Barney Maddison, 6 Ali Birch (replaced by George Oram), 7 Tom Calladine, 8 Tim Cree.
16 Jack Preece, 17 Robin Hislop, 18 Lewis Thiede, 19 George Oram, 20 Max Argyle, 21 Andy Davies, 22 Will Goodwin, 23 Lloyd Hayes, 24 Jack Hayes.
Tries: Jordan Davies (65 minutes)
Conversions: Tom Barrett (65 minutes)
Yellow Card: Sean Scanlon
Referee: Luke Pearce
Assistant Referees: Fergus Kirby & John-Paul Doyle