Edinburgh Accies 6 London Scottish 32
London Scottish consolidated their place at the top of Pool 2 in the British & Irish Cup with a try bonus point success against Edinburgh Accies at Raeburn Place.
Although Accies were bolstered up front by a host of Edinburgh Rugby professionals, including Ross Rennie (pictured above) it was the line speed in defence from the visitors that was a significant factor throughout the game.
That and the willingness of 26-year-old full-back James Love to play with freedom and width. Love, reportedly something of a sevens afficianado, and recruited from Plymouth Albion, had a fine game.
In the second-half, when Lewis Niven departed after 55 minutes, the Accies scrum began to toil as the Exiles increased their domiance there, so it was something of a surprise that we had to wait until the 78th minute for the bonus point score.
With Scotland head coach Scott Johnson and Edinburgh Rugby forwards' coach Steve Scott looking on, Accies began purposefully and had built up a 6-0 lead through two Alex Black penalties.
Scottish were then reduced to 14 men when openside Matt Everard was sin-binned, but that merely served to galvanise the visitors. PJ Gidlow carried aggressively in midfield and ball was moved for the former Glasgow Warriors apprentice Michael Doneghan to cross for the game's opening try. Love converted.
A thumping touchfinder from Love and then catch and drive from the Scottish forwards created try number two, winger Pete Homan, being credited with the score. Love converted and added two offside penalties for a 6-20 half-time scoreline.
Accies substitute Phil Cringle was yellow-carded amid Accies' scrum difficulties in the second period, leading to a spell of uncontested scrums (where at least the ball was back in play mercifully quickly).
The game as a contest, never really intensified in the second-half as Scottish extended their advantage with a try from captain Mark Bright and a penalty try which Love goaled.
There were two further yellow cards in the closing stages: Accies international flanker Ross Rennie was binned for side entry at a ruck and Homan was similarly dispatched for a body-check.
Elsewhere in the B&I Cup Ay succumbed to a narrow away defeat at Cornish Pirates, Stirling County were dismissed by Plymouth Albion and Leeds saw off Gala at Netherdale.
This weekend saw three sides crowned as champions of their respective district’s RBS Regional Cup. This not only allows for bragging rights yet also a place in the RBS National Cup quarter-finals.
Following a 17 all draw not even a month ago in the RBS Premiership, Heriot’s stamped their authority on the capital derby in beating Currie on their home patch of Malleny Park, running out as 40-7 victors to lift the RBS Edinburgh Regional Cup.
Through in the west, Glasgow Hawks were victorious at Old Anniesland against GHA in the final of the RBS West Regional Cup, the score 33-14.
A 33-5 victory over Peebles saw Melrose finish as champions of the RBS Border Regional Cup, winning all five of their games in the process. There are still games to be played in this competition although Melrose cannot be caught at the top of the table sitting on 18 points. Other results from the RBS Border Regional Cup included Kelso beating Jed-Forest 25 points to 21 and Hawick fighting back to pip Selkirk 21-19.
The RBS Caledonia Regional Cup is still up for grabs, with the final fixtures being played this Saturday (18 January) to determine the winners. The crunch match next Saturday will be between Howe of Fife and Aberdeen Grammar, with the successful team of this match taking the coveted cup and a spot in the RBS National Cup quarter-finals. Aberdeen Grammar defeated Aberdeenshire 64-24 whilst Kirkcaldy were beat at home by Dundee, 45-5.
RBS Border Regional Cup
Peebles v Jed-Forest, The Gytes, Saturday 18 January
RBS Caledonia Regional Cup
Falkirk v Dundee HSFP, Sunnyside, Saturday 18 January
Howe of Fife v Aberdeen Grammar, Duffus Park, Saturday 18 January
Aberdeenshire v Kirkcaldy, Woodside Sports Complex, Saturday 18 January
All fixtures in the RBS Regional Cup competitions are scheduled to kick-off at 2pm