London Scottish produced a dominant display to start the New Year with an impressive 36-15 bonus-point victory against Rotherham Titans at the Athletic Ground.
The Scots were rampant in the first half and had the bonus-point wrapped up before the break thanks to tries from Joe Atkinson, Ed Hoadley, Jason Harries and Paddy Kelly.
Robbie Fergusson added another score in the second half to ensure the Scots secured a deserved win and moved up to sixth in the Greene King IPA Championship table.
Scottish started strongly and went over for the first try after eight minutes. Dan Koroi’s brilliant offload sent George Turner flying down the middle, and the hooker drew in the last defender before passing to Joe Atkinson who was able to run clear and open the scoring. Peter Lydon converted and then kicked a penalty to give his side a 10-3 lead after 20 minutes.
Ed Hoadley then scored his first try for the club to put the Scots in control of the match. A set move from the back of a lineout brought them to within five metres of the line, and Hoadley dummied to beat the oncoming defenders and dive over the line. Lydon again converted to extend the lead to 17-3.
Just two minutes later another try followed as Scottish showed all of their attacking capability. This time a rolling maul was heading towards the line, and Jason Harries broke away to score from close range to the delight of the 1,126 in attendance.
The Scots secured the try bonus point with the last play of the first half. Alec Coombes made a break down the right wing, and then set Paddy Kelly free to beat the last two defenders and dot down in the corner.
Scottish then headed down the tunnel with a 29-3 lead at the break, after putting in their best first 40 minutes of the season so far.
With the dismal conditions of heavy rain and wind both sides struggled with the ball in hand in the second half.
George Turner saw a chance go by after breaking away from a maul and spilling the ball just short of the line, before Robbie Fergusson scored the fifth try of the match after 55 minutes.
Scottish had possession in the Rotherham 22, and Grant Shiells threw an audacious dummy which fooled the entire defence. Fergusson was on hand to sprint clear and dive over the line for another superb score, which was converted by Lydon to put them 36-3 ahead.
Tom Calladine scored for the Titans with 10 minutes remaining to put them on the scoreboard after a maul drove over the line, before Hoadley was denied a second try of the match after brilliant work from the visitors’ defence saw them scramble back and hold up the scrum-half.
Rotherham got their second try with the last play of the match. Matthew Walsh took a quick tap penalty inside the 22 and dived over from close range, as the referee blew the whistle to confirm a 36-15 win.
The Scots now sit just four points away from the top four in the Championship, and now head in to a weekend with no fixture to rest up ahead of the return to British and Irish Cup action on January 13 against Ulster A.
They next return to the Athletic Ground in Richmond for two successive weekends on January 21 and 28 for huge matches against Cardiff Blues Select and Yorkshire Carnegie.