U16 Top of The League

11th November 2010

Saracens 11London Scottish 17(Herts-Middlesex Division 2) 7th November 2010 London Scottish U16s remain top of the league after the second round of matches. In a tough encounter, where the lead exchanged hands on three occasions, the strength of the Scottish forwards and the slightly greater pace of the backs, secured a hard-fought victory.

The coaches had always identified this match as a test of the progress the team has made in the past two seasons. And a test it was to prove! Saracens had been relegated from Division 1 at the end of last season, but their record against some excellent Division 1 sides had still been respectable.

 On a chilly Sunday morning on the most sloping of the pitches at Saracens, captain for the day, Declan, opted to start uphill. Both teams began nervously and early penalties, turn-overs and errors meant that neither side settled. The Saracens fly-half clearly enjoyed using the boot and when they secured a line-out in the Scottish 22, in the sixth minute, the forwards set up a good ball for their backs to go over for an unconverted try. 5-0 to the home team.

 Scottish had the chance for a return score but could not maintain control of the ball and it was Saracens who stretched their lead on 16 minutes with a penalty kick. This score instantly spurred on the Scottish team they surged back into the match. Within two minutes the boys had the first score on the board with a well-worked and simple move. The forwards set up the chance from a line-out drive and the ball was sent wide right, Levi entered the line from full back, and sprinted clear for a good score. 8-5 to Saracens.

 By now the Scottish forwards were dominating in the scrum, but they were only gaining parity in the loose thanks to the solid work of the back-row. The line-out started to work better for Scottish but good ball-control still eluded the team. However, as the half progressed, the threat from Saracens receded and with the half drawing to a close the coaches felt that a three-point defecit would be turned around.

The second half started with an instant Scottish surge to the line. The boys camped in the Saracens half and only a fractional forward pass prevented a second score. 5 minutes into the half Scottish took the lead for the first time. Good pressure at a ruck allowed the team to attack and Guy finished off the move with a good try. 8-10 to Scottish.

Two minutes later another penalty against Scottish, this time for a back-row scrum offence, allowed Saracens to move 11-10 ahead. The Scottish boys maintained their composure and on 48 minutes made another thrusting attack, which was again spoiled by a needless penalty for going over off feet at a ruck.

17 minutes into the half and the best move of the match secured the critical score for Scottish. From a scrum Declan picked up from No 8 and made ground. Scrum-half Guy continued the attack and from the ruck Adam brought the ball back to the left, linked with fly-half Ryan who fed the ball down the line to Mitchell on the left wing. Ryan looped and Mitchell’s pass, out the back of his hand, gave Ryan the opportunity to score a cracking try wide out. Kieran’s conversion from the touch-line moved the score to 11-17.

With only five minutes of the match remaining, the Scottish team were awarded a kickable penalty. For the first time in the team’s history, Declan correctly opted for the kick which would move the team a score clear. The penalty was missed but Scottish remained camped in the Saracens half and only a double-movement just short of the line prevented a bonus-point score. The referee (who was excellent throughout) blew the final whistle which brought a great cheer from the Scottish team, coaches and supporters. An away win at Saracens will always be a fine result.


Team: 1 L Keen (D Neal 35); 2 H Ullah (T Farrell 20); 3 J Carter (K Devchand 35); 4 S Holloway; 5 T Henderson (J Carter 47); 6 A Ferguson; 7 J Ward; 8 D McPate (capt.); 9 G Luscombe; 10 R Flannery; 11 N Barreiro-Rosario (M Rogers 50); 12 K Morgan; 13 M Third; 14 K Reddy; 15 L McDonald.

Not used: R Akinrinmade; J Butler; A Samuels.


Referee: David Carroll (London Society)                                                

SubscrIbe for the latest news and offers direct to your inbox.