Rugby report: London Scottish 32 Rotherham Titans 23

Action from the Green King IPA Championship match between London Scottish and Rotherham Titans at Richmond
Action from the Green King IPA Championship match between London Scottish and Rotherham Titans at Richmond
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Rotherham Titans got their Greene King IPA Championship campaign off to a losing start as London Scottish secured a 32-23 victory at Richmond Athletic Ground.

Rotherham were never out the contest and showed enough to prove once again they will be competing for a top four finish come April.

They almost scored in the opening five minutes after turning defence into attack inside their own half.

Jack Roberts took advantage of turn over ball, bursting through some weak tackling before a last gasp tackle by Miles Mantella thwarted the outside centre in the left corner.

Titans were soon rewarded for a strong start when stand-off James McKinney kicked his team into a 3-0 lead on nine minutes after Scottish were penalised at the opening scrum.

Peter Lydon levelled matters up two minutes later with simple penalty before McKinney restored Rotherham’s advantage straight from kick-off courtesy of a fine penalty from distance.

The hosts scored their first try on 19 minutes.

From an attacking line-out, a driving maul towards the line ended with Mark Bright crashing over. Peter Lyon’s left foot eased London Scottish into a 10-6 lead.

A prolonged period of pressure four minutes from half-time enabled Rotherham kicker McKinney to make this a one point game thanks to his third penalty.

On the stroke of half-time, Scottish were awarded a kickable penalty themselves in the Titans 22.

Instead of opting for three points, the forwards put trust in their potent driving maul, Chevvy Pennycook securing the line-out before, once again, Bright touched down for his second try of the afternoon.

Lyon missed the conversion but it was Scottish who had the lead at half-time, 15-9.

London Scottish claimed their third try a minute into the second half.

A clever switch of play by scrum-half Jamie Stevenson saw the ball go through the hands of prop Mark Lilley and Bright, ending with full-back Lydon galloping towards the line and scoring in the left corner.

The former Stade Francais man converted the tough conversion to push Scottish 22-9 ahead.

McKinney reduced the deficit to seven points kicking two quick fire penalties before a third penalty from the fly half just before the hour mark made it 22-18.

At this point Titans were down to 14 men after centre Chris Harris was sin-binned for a high tackle on Lydon.

Just as Rotherham were back to 15, Scottish claimed their bonus point and Bright his hat-trick.

With four minutes to go Scottish got their fifth try, through Jamie Phillips.

Adam Macklin drove over late on for Rotherham but the Scots held firm in the closing seconds to deny Titans a losing bonus point and ensure a perfect start to the season.

London Scottish: Lydon, Williams; Grove; Gidlow; Mantella; Newton; Stevenson, Lilley, Ben Prescott, Preocanin, Best, Pennycook, Bright. Replacements: Hallam, Cherry, Maidment, Tuisamoa, Twomey, Stuart, Millar.

Rotherham Titans: Scanlon, Broadley, Roberts, Harris, Wilson, McKinney, White, Hislop, Cruse, Tampin, Parker, Holmes, Birch, Preece, Alex Rieder. Replacements: Freer, Williams, Macklin, Morris, Ryan, McGaffin, Davies.