London Scottish head coach James Buckland delighted with youngsters despite opening defeat in British & Irish Cup

London Scottish head coach James Buckland spoke glowingly of his young side in the wake of their 23-17 away defeat to Pontypridd in the British & Irish Cup.

Tries from captain James Phillips and Connor Braid were not enough for Scottish, who were left chasing the game after Pontypridd took a 23-10 lead early in the second half.

Buckland made multiple changes to include a number of young players and was pleased with their performance despite the result.

He said: “I was really pleased with the younger boys who got the opportunity and it was fantastic to get the try at the end.”

Academy graduates Alex Brown, Charlie Dockery and Alec Coombes made their debuts to highlight the youthful nature of Buckland’s side.

A try apiece from Taufa’ao Filise and Owen Jenkins coupled with a perfect kicking record from Simon Humberstone put Ponty in control of proceedings.

Scottish fell behind early on and, despite a couple of penalties from Peter Lydon and Phillips going over from a maul, the metronomic boot of Humberstone kept them at arms length.

Braid’s late try secured what could prove to be a vital bonus point for Scottish and Buckland could only highlight the positives in the wake of the defeat.

He said: “To come here, to the house of pain, and get a point is a great effort from everyone.”

Braid latched on to a well-executed chip by Lee Millar to score his third try since joining from Glasgow Warriors this summer. Lydon then kept his cool to add the extras from the conversion and secure the bonus point.

Buckland added: “Individually, we were really pleased, the team could have been a bit sharper at times and maybe they come away wishing they got more out of the game.

“To be successful we need 30 guys to be up to speed and we showed that today.”

Scottish face Bristol Rugby at home in the next group game of the cup next Saturday.

Feature image courtesy of Sean Lynch

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