A fantastic squad performance from the Scottish boys gave them a comfortable victory away at local rivals London Irish.
The mission was to get off to an intense and quick start and also to ensure that the work from the training field was put into the match. In the early exchanges, however, it was Irish that threatened first, putting pressure on the Scottish boys in their own 22.
A relieving kick from Iain led to an Irish lineout on halfway and when the ball was won by Scottish the ball was moved wide and, with the first Scottish move, full back Josh put winger Raphael in for the first try. Gary duly added the two points.
Scottish then started to totally dominate the next period of play, which was marked by several excellent periods of continuity. With the forwards winning the battle up front and dominating in the scrum, it was not long before hooker Will added the next try. Another break from full back took play into the Irish 22 and Will was in close support to drive over for the score.
Open-side flanker and team captain, Ross added the next score with a perfect pick up and drive from short range. Fellow back rower, Miles, playing at No. 8 went close with a fine break and was just tackled into touch whilst reaching for the line.
It was Remi that added the next score following surges to the line from Sam, Brandon and Iain all of which were just short of a score. When the backs called for the ball it was Remi, playing at centre, who touched down for the points and Gary adding the conversion.
Miles got his reward for some hard work and good play, with a perfect No. 8 score from a 5 metre attacking scrum, to put Scottish into a 0-29 lead at the whistle. Surely it must have been a good feeling for Miles to close the half with a score against his former team mates!
The second half started with a series of changes to the line-up but it made little change to the outcome. Indeed, in a near perfect series of plays, orchestrated by Jack (on at scrum half) and Iain at fly half, three thrusts by the forwards were followed by the ball being spun wide to winger Harith, who out-sprinted the cover for the next try.
Scottish maintained the impetus and the next score went again to Harith. This time the ball was spun wide and he had a bit more work to do to break clear of a couple of tackles before touching down for a 0-41 lead.
With 20 or so minutes remaining the final changes were made to the line-up. It may well have been that the team took some time to adapt but Irish, to their credit raised their game and scored twice in quick succession to put 12 points on the board.
Harry, on at full back, scored the next Scottish try with a mesmerising kick-return. Taking the ball just outside his own 22, Harry showed his silky running skills to weave a path to the Irish line, much to annoyance of the home support, but to the admiration of the Scottish supporters.
Irish then benefitted from an interception to add their final points, before Demi, back on at 9, used his dancing feet to jink through the defence for a fitting final score. Iain added the conversion with the last kick of the game.
There were a number of very fine individual performances across the squad but this match also demonstrated how well the boys have worked together in training to improve individually and collectively. A great performance from the whole squad and a good confidence booster ahead of the U17 league games to come and the LV Cup games for the Academy team.
Doug McLaughlin; Will Stewart; Adilson Uare; Ethan Edwards-Haye; Jacob Foulger; Tawanda Nambureti; Jimmy Purewal; Ali McLaughlin; Ka-cie Addison; Brandon Babalola; Bola Docemo; Sam Bastille; Miles Wakeling; Ross Ludlow; Gavin Gilroy-Pendlebury; Demi Ajeigbe; Jack Bartrip; Iain Rees; Theo Gabrielides; Gary Hardy; Remi Norville; Raphael Letzelter; Josh Ferguson; Otto Saxon-Stone; Harith Hawas; David Semu; Harry Montgomery.