Great day for London Welsh hero and ex-Bath Rugby's Nick Scott
Nick Scott says the experience of having trained with Stephen Donald enabled him to pull off the last-minute interception try that condemned his former club to a disastrous defeat.
Two years ago, the 22-year-old was cultivated by former Bath head coach Steve Meehan as one of the clubs Bright Young Things. At one point, Meehan suggested Scott could even go on to become a Bath strike runner as deadly as Nick Abendanon.
But after an encouraging debut season in 2010-11, which saw Scott make six Premiership appearances, Meehan's successor – Sir Ian McGeechan – gave him just two appearances off the bench last term. Scott made a defensive lapse against Gloucester and McGeechan binned him.
There was to be no reprieve. Scott was sent out on loan to London Welsh – then in the Championship – and was not offered a contract extension by Bath.
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Since then, Scott has not looked back. He played a try-scoring role in Welsh's Championship play-off victory, and on Sunday gleefully snaffled up Donald's rash pass and ran 70 metres to score the winning try.
It was a score that simultaneously served as a personal vindication for Scott and underscored the folly of McGeechan's decision to place him in the 'rejects' file.
Scott, who still has many social connections to Bath, spent three years at The Rec, and his time training alongside World Cup-winner Donald turned out to be pretty useful during injury time at the Kassam Stadium.
"I played with Stephen Donald a bit and I knew he took the ball to the line quite a lot," explained Scott after the final whistle. "I hedged my bets. I saw Nick Abendanon going down the outside and I went for the interception. Thank goodness it went into my hands."
Scott was one of six former Bath players in the Exiles' match-day squad, with Daniel Browne, skipper Jonathan Mills, Tom Voyce, Martin Purdy and Romania prop Paulica Ion all among the ranks of ex-Rec men.
"It was obviously nice for me personally to get a try against my old club but more importantly it was all about the win for us," said Scott.
"It was good to be out there playing against a few old friends, but you have got to take the emotion out of it. It's all about playing for London Welsh now."
Scott's former team-mate Kane Palma-Newport lamented this week: "We're still in a dark place at the moment and losing in the last few seconds to an old friend to most of us – and a best friend to me – is a bitter pill to swallow.
"While the feeling has lifted a little bit it's definitely still hanging around – it's tough."