Some of the U13’s team and parents had the perfect start to the weekend and had the pleasure of watching the London Scottish Lions play the day before. The Mighty LS Lions secured a great win against Saracens, and the boys were surely inspired by watching some of their heroes put in such a great winning display.
Onto the Sunday’s game itself, LS had another tricky away fixture against Guildfordian’s (GF). LS were disrupted pre-kick off with the late withdrawal of Elliot and Henry (due to sickness), which resulted in a shakeup in the backline with Patrick moving from #8 to centre, amongst other changes. Daniel was also not well enough to start the first half.
The LS coaches always tell the team the importance of a good start. But when the LS kick-off landed in the fruit basket of one of GF’s star players, who ran the length of the pitch, we feared the worst. However, our last man back, Rupert ran a great diagonal line and timed his tackle to perfection to force their player to spill the ball over the line! Phew!
A few minutes later, Rupert was again involved, and this time it was in attack. He took a quick tap inside LS half and ghosted past a number of opposition players before sprinting up the line to score LS crucial 1st try.
The next try for LS was a real team effort. Cameron did an excellent job forcing a knock-on and then picked up the loose ball and ran an elusive line, and passed onto Jodh, who made significant metres. Emre then took it hard up the middle to get us further over the gain line. Rudy recycled it quickly and passed it to Rafael, who swatted off a few players & finished for a great team try.
GF started to come back into the game now, and only for another great tackle from Rupert over the try line GF would have scored. The referee confirmed it was held up over the line. However, too much “backchat” from LS boys made him reverse his decision and give a penalty to GF. They took it quickly, and this time they made no mistake and made it 1-2. A valuable lesson for the LS boys there, surely…
Two minutes later, the score was 2-2 after GF’s star man sliced through the LS defence to score a lovely try for the home team. All the momentum was now with the home side, and after some nice passing in midfield, they made it 3-2. This was now officially LS biggest challenge to their unbeaten run. Could our boys respond?
The answer was an empathic yes! Outstanding running from Cameron and Max punched holes in GF defence and allowed Rafael to get into a position to power through the last few defenders to help turn the tide and make it 3-3!
Just before halftime, and following some great defence by LS, Rafael picked up the ball in his own half and ran the length of the pitch to score. How he still had all that energy in the tank (after a pulsating 1st half) to literally run up a hill was great to see. A well-earned hat-trick of tries for Rafael. This was also an important psychological score for LS just before halftime. 3-4 Scottish!
The start of the 2nd half was a tense affair & somewhat disjointed, with both defences on top, resulting in a few knock-ons and scrums. Some really strong defence by Gaston & Liam and great running by Mark helped LS get out of their own half as GF looked to take the initiative.
After Rupert made a run down the middle that took out a number of players, it gave some space for Patrick to pick up the ball at the base of the ruck and zig-zag past a few defenders to touch down to make it 3-5 to Scottish.
It now really felt like LS were getting on top and starting to win lots of the small battles. This included an excellent counter ruck by Gaston & Ismail to win turnover ball. At the next phase Gregor’s swift pass to Rupert allowed him to speed down the hill to give LS breathing space and make it 3-6.
However, GF fought bravely and following a patient period of possession in LS half they scored a nicely worked try from close quarters in the corner. This made it 4-6 on the scoreline. However, LS looked the stronger of the two teams in the final stages, with the bench making a telling impact with Kuzey (making a big hit) and Daniel (securing several rucks) at vital moments. LS had the final say with an individual try from Rupert. He took a quick tap penalty and used his explosive running to complete his own hat-trick and make the final score 4-7 to LS.
Next up in Surrey round 5 is a Home Game against London Irish on Sunday, March 19th at 11.30 am. Please, everyone, come down and support the boys. C’mon Scottish!
Forwards: Daniel, Emre, Raf, Gaston, Mark, Liam, Max, Kuzey
Backs: Rudy, Gregor, Cameron, Rupert, Jodh, Ismail, Patrick (c)