British & Irish Cup: London Scottish edge frantic affair

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A MORALE boosting first win in the British & Irish Cup finally arrived in Richmond yesterday as London Scottish did just enough to hold on. Forwards coach

Scorers: London Scottish – Tries: Bright, Reay, Thompson. Cons: Love (3). Pen: Love. Llanelli – Tries: Hopkins, Bird. Con: Williams. Pens: Williams.

James Buckland said: “This cup is a good competition and we are just trying to build momentum. Today we turned out a 50-minute performance against Llanelli but we are moving on. We play them again next week and everyone loves going to Wales. We expect a very tough game before we play Newcastle in the Championship again.”

In truth the game played out as a it was billed, a professional outfit tussled with a hardy development side pushing for honours in their domestic league. Llanelli came to London sitting fourth in the Principality Premiership after five wins on the bounce and contested everything but were penalised by the referee for almost any infringement in this frantic affair.

After the opening exchanges the team in red were harshly whistled for tearing into an offensive Scottish ruck. From the penalty the home side calmly nudged the ball into the corner, waited for a surge and pushed captain Mark Bright over for the opener. It was to be the tale of the afternoon. Llanelli’s openside Dan Thomas battled hard and showed glimpses of brilliance but his pack could not keep their feet and stand-off Owen Williams played like he would be fined if he were to kick the ball. Miles Mantella went over after some clever disguise, making it 17-0, and so it remained until Williams decided to dust off his instep and thump over a penalty from the halfway. Jim Thompson replied by racing to the line before the game split open in an error-filled second half. The final points went to Llanelli replacements Craig Hopkins, Diggy Bird and their kicker.

London Scottish: J Thompson; J Love, O Grove, A Reay, M Mantella; P Godman, R Samson; M Irish, A Kwasnicki, C Quigley, P Spivey, T Hotson, B Russell, C Pennycook, M Bright. Subs: H Allen, A MacKenzie, J Brown, T Spinks, R Bolt, D McCall, PJ Gidlow.Llanelli: D Jones; D Ford, S Hughes, J Lewis, Jenkins; O Williams, Ry Jones; Rh Jones, K Myhill, A Hopkins, J Galley, N White, L Rawlins, D Thomas, C Price. Subs: R Thomas, C Hopkins, C Cross, D Eager, R Lane, D Bird, K Evans.

Referee: P Haycock