Match Report written by Ian Hannah
The Under 17s are now well into the final stages of their season with just the final league games to play against Bishops Stortford and Old Albanians, all with a realistic chance of winning the league.
This Sunday we hosted neighbours London Welsh and ran out 39-22 winners as both sides picked up a try bonus points with 11 tries scored on the day.
London Welsh arrived with a huge pack (all our opposition seem to do that) and kicked off into the breeze for the first half. As usual, the game took 5-10 minutes to settle down before fullback Ted almost scored from a quickly taken penalty inside the 22m. Not to matter, as after the next series of phases, Scottish got their first try of the afternoon after working the ball wide to the left where winger Adam had more than enough pace to run through and score. 5 mins further into the half and Scottish again got the ball wide to the left wing where first tighthead prop Thomas and then loosehead Ishy burst through the wide defence for Ishy to go over in the corner. Two props out on the wing, what were they doing there!? They must have been reading the game as every good prop knows how to!!
The next try came as the Scottish forwards had a couple of goes around the fringes of the breakdown with Thomas ending up with the score underneath the sticks. Max nailed the extras which took us to 17-0 HT lead.
The second half started with centre Ben working his way forwards and going to ground just short of the line. Quick thinking by Ben as he realised he wasn’t being held, so he got up, picked the ball up and barged through the assembled Welsh before they could react. 22-0 and try bonus point secured it looked like it was going to be one-way traffic. The Welsh, however, had different ideas and started working to their strengths in the forwards, with lots of pick & go phases before conjuring up a great score as they unleashed their left winger at speed who flew through to score 22-5.
The Welsh forwards were now coming more into the game and followed up with another from the breakdown which they converted to take the scores to 22-12. Scottish hadn’t switched off completely though and from a penalty in front of the posts they decided to take the scrum. With the backline divided and the Welsh forwards tied into the scrum it gave Ben the space to power through again in the centres, 27-12. The Welsh responded with more tight play and again went over via the forwards, 27-17. Scottish received a yellow at the same time for the team being persistently offside in the red zone. Playing with 14 men the Scots kept it together well and worked their way up to the Welsh 22m where, with the breakdown only a yard in from touch, Ted spotted a gap undefended by the Welsh and darted through to score, 32-17. Scottish received a further yellow for hands in the ruck so had to play the final minutes with 14 men. The Welsh duly took advantage of numbers and scored their fourth to earn them their bonus point and take it to 32-22. Scottish hadn’t finished though, and clever kicking gave them field position well into the Welsh 22m. With the Welsh trying to get it along their backline they fumbled in the centres and Diallo hounding them from his wing was first to react, dotting the ball over for the final try. Max converted, 39-22.
With the final whistle blown, the two sides showed two very different styles of play, the Welsh using their forwards to good effect, and the Scottish fronting up in the forwards but looking to get the ball wide into space. The latter style won out in the end as the Scots scored 7 tries to the Welsh 4 however it was a good game to watch and the Scots go into their final league games over the next two weekends with all to play for. Next week is another home game as they host league leaders Bishops Stortford. Why not come down and support the guys in what will no doubt be a great game?