Hopefully with much better weather conditions on the cards, this Saturday sees London Scottish play their first match of 2011 with a tasty local derby against our old friends from Rosslyn Park, who make the short trip over from Roehampton to the RAA.
Rosslyn Park are in their first season at National League One, since gaining promotion last season through the National League 2 play-off match, with a comprehensive victory against Loughborough Students. The season so far for Park has been one of consolidation; with notable victories against Scottish earlier in the season, an unexpected away victory at Tynedale and in their last outing away at Wharfedale, winning 30 – 23. However, they have also come a cropper in matches they may well have been expected to win, hence a season of consolidation and they sit comfortably mid-table in the league. Their current Head Coach is the Frenchman Florent Rossigneux, who continues the long connection between Rosslyn Park and French rugby. In fact, Rosslyn Park was the first English club to play an international club match, when the club visited Paris in 1892 to play Stade Francais.
Park recruited extensively during the close season adding; Charlie Gower and John Rudd from London Irish, Ben Gotting from London Welsh, Chris Lewis from Coventry and a couple of young dual registrations in Will Collier and Ollie Lynsay-Hague from Harlequins, with the later being the leading try scorer for Park with 7 tries so far. Richard Davies is the leading points scorer, chipping in with 76 points through the boot.
London Scottish will be keen to push on with their season and maintain the momentum they established towards the end of 2010 and no doubt Saturday will present another hard challenge through a highly motivated Rosslyn Park side, but at the same time it also provides an opportunity to avenge the defeat by Park earlier in the season. Also, this coming Saturday sees 1st (Barking) play 2nd (Cambridge) in a top of the table clash and with something having to give in this match, it provides Scottish with an ideal opportunity to increase the pressure on the leading contenders for the title and could well see London Scottish in a much healthier position than at the start of the day.
Belated season’s greetings and a guid New Year to ane an' and mony may ye see. Make sure you get down to the RAA this Saturday and kick off the New Year in style and cheer on the lads. Roll on Saturday and see you all for the first instalment of 2011.
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