Richards relieved to leave Old Deer Park with late derby victory

07th February 2016

Peter Lydon stepped up to the plate for the second week in a row to slot a touchline conversion to give London Scottish a narrow victory right at the death.

Scottish defeated their fellow exiles London Welsh 17-19 at Old Deer Park after newcomer Tinus du Plessis crossed in the corner.

Head Coach Peter Richards was left with mixed feelings after his side were unable to turn second-half dominance into points until the final minute.

“I’m really pleased to win the game of course but probably a bit frustrated with our second-half performance,

“I think the foundations for the victory were certainly laid in the first-half, we played into an enormously strong wind and came out only five points down at half-time, which was a tremendous effort,

“We played about 95% of that second-half in their 22 but couldn’t get over until right at the death so some frustrating elements to some of our attack,” said Richards.

If the attack was frustrating for the Scottish Head Coach the same couldn’t be said for the shift that his team put in defence and in his eyes the praise laid firmly at one man’s door.

Richards said: “Defensively today we were excellent, Roddy Grant who has obviously come down from Edinburgh has taken over our defence and he’s had a tremendous impact, again we were really physical defensively.”

Richards admitted that for whatever reason his team didn’t appear their usual selves in the second-half but the first-half performance where his team were faced with tough conditions did impress him.

“I don’t think we had a poor start to the game, I think we had a couple of poor moments. I think we showed ambition actually to play into that wind and we turned over a couple of key turnovers and they scored two pretty soft tries didn’t they,

“But I actually thought we showed great ambition, we played some decent rugby into the wind and that gave us the territory to then go ahead and get those driving line-outs five meters out,

“You’re never going to get an epic rugby game every game in this weather, it’s going to be a gritty game especially where both teams are very very desperate for a win,” said a delighted Richards.

The victory is just another in a recent run of form which see’s Scottish climb to eighth in the Championship, 13 points off the play-offs and 13 points clear of relegation.

“We are having a little resurgence now, I think that’s four wins on the bounce, including B&I Cup and that’s great,” said Richards.

The man of the moment was again Scottish’s goal-kicking fullback who missed two easier attempts prior to his final minute touchline winner.

“Peter Lydon got us out of jail for a second week in a row with a just fantastic kick. We can’t rely on him every week to win us the game but at the moment he is doing a good job of it!” said Richards.

The kick was provided after openside flanker du Plessis crossed in the corner and there was also plenty of praise for the uncompromising Namibian.

Richards said: “Yeah fantastic effort from him, 80 minutes, he’s not played much rugby since the World Cup and against Munster and Leeds he was fantastic but to do 80 today was really impressive, to be on the end of that try when all at that point probably seemed lost was great.” 

The Scottish Head Coach was delighted with the teams endeavour and although the thrilling end to the game was great for fans, the coaches feel as if they could do without it.  

“We showed great character last week to win at the death and we have done it again but it’s no good for the coaches hearts because we are spending the last 20 minutes of games in panic ourselves thinking why are we making it so hard for ourselves but ultimately four points on the table and it pushes us closer to that top six so it’s a good day!” said Richards.  


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