On Sunday the Under 13s hosted a junior tournament with Harlequins, Kosmos Kilburn, Farnham and Old Pats from Cheltenham. Reports written by Rory Dusoir, Gary Peters and Graeme Taylor.
London Scottish vs Kilburn Cosmos
After a very tough opening game, the boys could have been forgiven if their heads were down at the start of their next fixture. However, from the whistle it was quite clear that they intended to put down a marker and reclaim their pride. Scottish kicked-off – the ball was pursued hard and tackle succeeded ferocious tackle, leading to a turnover deep in the Kilburn half. With the opposition in some disarray, Lucas I ran the ball in for a try, his first for London Scottish. This set the pattern for the game – in defence the boys harassed the opposition relentlessly, pressuring them into mistakes which often led to them yielding possession high up the pitch. Our forwards were dominant in the scrum and at the breakdown, securing the ball and recycling it efficiently for the, who backs used it well, with penetrative runs and quick passing.
Having conceded the first try, Kilburn were still reeling when they lost a scrum against the head just inside their own. The ball was moved quickly the width of the pitch from left to right, with Matt gleefully running it in for our second try. Good defensive rucking led to yet another turnover. The ball was fed quickly to James who ran 20 yards, fending off tackles as he went, to score. The Kilburn lads were clearly beginning to feel cowed, and the last thing they wanted to see was a bristling Calum charging at them with the ball. None of them fancied a tackle, and Calum touched down for our third. Running through gaps that no-one else could see, Max T turned defence into attack with a penetrative run half the length of the field. Scottish capitalised with some quick passing before the opposition had had a chance to re-organise, and Lawrence took the try.
The Scottish no. 9 was alert to the dominance of our pack and to the general befuddlement in the Kilburn ranks and, on several occasions, stole the ball where he had absolutely no right to it. Having ripped the ball from a startled Kilburn player in midfield, he passed to Josh G who ran aggressively towards the Kilburn line. Unfortunately the ball was knocked on, but from the ensuing scrum, Arthur hared after his opposite number who hurriedly tossed a loose ball towards his 10, who was standing back for the kick – Alfie accepted the gift with alacrity, picking up the ball cleanly and running it in to score. Kilburn then scored, but there was still time to ice the cake – Mark scored our seventh in the last play of the game, a magnificent solo run half the length of the pitch.
A great performance, the boys channelled their aggression well, were dominant in all areas, and never let up.
London Scottish vs Old Pats Blues
Under a blue sky with not a cloud in sight, both teams start the match in confidence and a good team spirit is shown since the start. Old Pats are good passers of the ball good passers of the ball, taller, bigger and well drilled. We defend well, we are Scottish.
After many phases and pressure by Old Pats score the first try, this is followed quickly be a second try after great passing game.
Our boys are struggling to get ball out of own half with Old Pats playing a fast paced game with excellent passing.
Some tough tackling is shown from both sides with some noisy screams from Old Pats – were it tactical? A tremendous run from Old Pats own half ends in a well worked try, good rugby is played by both teams. Ref blows for half time. The second half is pretty much the same although Scottish looks livelier after stern but motivational half time talk and energising snacks. The physicality of Old Pats keeps them stronger in the ruck
A forward pass stops a great try for Scottish in front of posts. A further knock allows Old Pats to add to the tally.
A great game of rugby from both teams with the better team taking away the victory, some silky skills from Old Pats.
Game was physical and our boys did us proud – more communication and support in the rucks is required to win against stronger and bigger teams.
London Scottish v Old Pats Whites
Our third game of the day was against the second Old Pat’s team and having been told that both sides were of equal ability we expected another tough game. The team didn’t let this worry them as they started brightly with some committed & aggressive tackling. Unfortunately, we turned the ball over in the break down and this gave Old Pats the opportunity to show us how to play organised and ruthless rugby. After a couple of attacks down the middle of the pitch, dragging more & more of our defenders in, they then quickly moved the ball to the left where they had a clear overlap in the corner.
The game reverted to type with both sides defending well and the tackling of the whole team showed a distinct improvement from our game against the other Old Pats team. The scrum were performing well and actually won one against the head from which we made real gains down the left hand side but couldn’t quite break through their defensive line. Max W was then injured and although your intrepid reporter missed the incident, it looked like a twisted ankle and he had to come off to well earned applause.
After the half time break, the boys were a bit slow picking up the pace of the match and allowed one of their opponents to run straight through the middle of our line and over for another score. Shortly afterwards came one of the highlights of our season with a great team score – Josh G onto Laurence, twisting and turning close to the line before slipping it onto Max M who with a quick side step was over. However, it quickly went from the sublime to the ridiculous as we allowed the opposition to collect the ball from their own kick down our left flank. Nobody was able to collect the bouncing ball & before we knew it, they had scored again.
The rest of the game degenerated into a series of knock ons and loose play from both sides – possibly as a result of tiredness – and the match finished with an excellent defensive tackle by Max T as they threatened to score a fourth. Although the result was 3-1, it was an excellent effort by the team against another organised and well drilled side.
London Scottish vs Harlequins
Glorious sunshine for last game, game 4, Scottish are pumped and confident to finish on a high. The referee blows for the start of the 1st half and soon there is an early try for Scottish from Aleks, the Capitano, out of a ruck.
Lots of tired boys out on the pitch after a glorious day but our boys are looking confident and shortly thereafter, a naïve knock on does not allow Scottish to score a second try.
Shortly thereafter Mark puts in a super strong run for second try – the crowd goes mad. Boy, he has an engine!
The action is mainly in Harlequins half as the Lions are pressing for an unsurmountable third try.
The ref blows for half time and Harlequins are relieved to hear that whistle
Early in the second half a good tackle by Max M , 1 of our 3 Maxes, (the taller one) saved a certain Harlequins try.
There are lots of tired and weary bones on the pitch and Harlequins offensive pressure opens up the back line defence resulting in a great run and try. A close game and in the last second of the games following a key scrum Scottish defends brilliantly well on touch line a la Wales Team 2019 to preserve their lead.
Ref blows final whistle to everyone’s relief. A good win for our boys, and a great spirit in this team and a fantastic morning of Rugby.
Old Pats were the eventual winners of the tournament and hoisted trophy into the blue sky.