London Scottish 17 Worcester Warriors 34
London Scottish Head Coach James Buckland admits ill-discipline cost his side their unbeaten home record in the Greene King IPA Championship this season.
The home side conceded four early penalties which, combined with a succession of missed tackles, resulted in two tries for the Warriors within the first ten minutes.
Scottish did make a recovery with captain Mark Bright scoring either side of half-time but any faint hopes of a comeback were dashed by a late double from Sam Smith.
“The fact is if we had been more disciplined and given away less defensive penalties – we call them free tickets – we would have made the game a lot closer than we did,” said Buckland.
“The boys had to build up for a huge physical contest today so maybe we were lightly over-pumped going into the game.
“Being able to maul and squeeze teams at set piece is something that we try to do, but we proved today we can’t do it for 80 minutes.
“A few times we did take them apart, the key will be being able to do it on a consistent basis and making use of the space that is then available outside.”
Nick Schonert opened for the scoring for the Warriors with a try in the third minute and the lead was doubled in the ninth through fellow prop Val Rapava Ruskin, with Ryan Lamb adding the extras.
Scottish got on the board in the 15th minute through the boot of Peter Lydon before a brilliantly executed rolling maul bought the Scots a converted score through Bright and left them just two points adrift at half-time.
Lamb struck a 40 metre penalty shortly after the break increase the visitors lead to five before Scottish replacement Chevvy Pennycook was sin binned less than a minute after coming on.
Warriors made their man advantage count as the lead was stretched to 12 through a 52nd minute converted try for captain GJ Van Veltze.
On the hour Worcester had two players binned in quick succession and this time it was the home side’s turn to use the advantage, pulling the deficit back with another converted try for Bright – his 12th of the season.
But with just four minutes left Smith, having been somewhat of a spectator for the majority of what was a pack-focused contest, scored twice to earn Warriors the bonus point.
LSTV – Head Coach James Buckland reflects on today’s defeat to Worcester Warriors http://t.co/W32WjFURuP
— London Scottish FC (@LSFCOfficial) December 20, 2014
Despite the result Buckland claims his side still have a top four spot firmly in their sights.
“To sit third going into the turn of the year is more or less where we wanted to be,” he said.
“It’s all about now making sure we keep picking up points as we go along and we finish third or fourth come the end of the season.
“The boys have worked really hard to this point, if they can take a bit of confidence into the turn of the year and match that to the hard work than hopefully we will be an even tougher team to beat.”