London Scottish won the basement battle at Grantchester Road, despite being 13-nil down at half time. Brian Redpath’s side blew Cambridge away with a stunning second half display that left Richie Williams’ men rooted to the bottom of the table.

With a prodigious breeze at their backs the Blood & Sand edged a competitive first half, going in at the break ahead by virtue of an intercept try from Sam Hanks, converted by Steff James. James added a perfunctory penalty from the edge of the 22, followed by another of similar ilk from Eli Caven. Both sides blew chances to get over the line – Sam Edwards fell short following a two-on-one where it looked easier to score; and James sprinted into his 22 to bring down Scottish wing Will Talbot-Davies who’d looked odds on to go under the sticks.

Redpath felt his side were always in with a shout at the interval, as they should have been further behind: “We’d played too much tippy-tappy rugby and weren’t decisive enough and a bit passive. Playing into a really strong wind we should have been 20 points down. After the break we were direct and played at a higher tempo. We’ve been very competitive all year and just not been able to finish teams off. Last week we did, today we did, and we crack on next week”.

Playing with the wind themselves in the second half, Scottish scored 11 minutes in when lovely interplay down the left hand side saw Archie White touch down. Within two minutes the try tally had doubled, again down the Scottish left as Noah Ferdinand outpaced the defence.

Two more followed as the floodgates opened – a break down the middle was finished by Ben Waghorn, and Jack Musk followed suit with the bonus point try. Bryn Bradley profited from a loose pass for the fifth. And two interceptions kept the scoreboard ticking over as the visitors ran riot – Luke Mehson and Jonathan Law putting a gloss on the result.

Richie Williams apologised to the home support afterwards, but refused to blame being ‘down to bones’ for their poor second half.

“Gareth Baxter got off a flight from South Africa at 5 am and started after Kieran Frost failed a fitness test. We were missing a few. I think, though, with that second half we have to take a really hard look at ourselves. We started reasonably well, created some good opportunities, but they haven’t had to work too hard for some of the tries they got. If you give teams opportunities at this level they’ll hurt you.”

Teams

Cambridge

Tarrant (Rayner 70), Williams (Brownlie 69) , Hoppe, Hanks, Caven, James, Edwards (Duffin 30); Ellwood (Owen 53 ) Vanes (Veness 53), Walker (Collins 53) , Bretag Norris, Baxter, Adams (Sloot 57), Cardew, Dawson (Maka 62)

London Scottish

Brown (Lloyd-Seed 60), Talbot-Davies (White 46), Waghorn, Bradley, Ferdinand, Sheppard (Mehson), Nutton (Law 60); Prior (Osborne 46), Wallis (Musk 46), Charalambous (Ashworth 69), Wilkinson (Huis 46), Ransom, Davies, Ingall, Marshall

Scorers

Cambridge

Try – Hanks 19

Conversion – James 20

Penalties – James 26, Caven 32

London Scottish

Tries – White 51, Ferdinand 54, Waghorn 57, Musk 61, Bradley 64, Mehson 71, Law 77

Conversions – Sheppard 58, 65, Lloyd-Seed 72, 78

Notes

HT 13-0 FT 13-43

Attendance – 2,054

Referee – Richard Gordon

Star Man – BRYN BRADLEY (London Scottish)