Scotland U20 were beaten 33-5 by a clinical England U20 outfit tonight at Franklin’s Gardens.
The visitors contested fiercely throughout the encounter, yet a late flurry of tries from England eventually put the game out of sight of the battling Scots.
Wing Darcy Graham was the only Scottish name on the scoresheet, with the men in white crossing the whitewash on five occasions, four of which stand-off Max Malins successfully converted.
The home side dominated possession and territory in the opening quarter yet failed to take advantage of numerous penalties, knocking-on twice on approach to the whitewash.
The breakthrough came after 22 minutes when England rumbled forward initially through hooker Curtis Langdon, before the ball was fed to back-row Jack Nay, who battled through the fringe ruck defence for the score. Max Malins converted (7-0).
As half-time approached prop George Thornton hit a lovely line in midfield and linked-up well with scrum-half Andrew Simmers on the break, yet the final pass to wing Darcy Graham didn’t go to hand putting an end to Scotland’s best scoring opportunity of the half.
The men in white widened the gap on the cusp of half-time as captain Zach Mercer broke down the blindside with some impressive footwork before offloading to scrum-half Harry Randall for the try. Malins converted.
HALF-TIME: England U20 14 – 0 Scotland U20
Full-back Stafford McDowall made an exhilarating break in the opening exchanges of the second-half, but some effective scramble defence from the opposition managed to shutdown his support options and kill Scotland’s attacking momentum.
England added their third score of the evening on 50 minutes through Dom Morris. Graham’s chip was charged down as he attempted to launch a counter-attack, with the home-side re-gathering possession and throwing the ball wide to find the wing who needed no second invitation to score from short-range. Malins’ attempt at goal was unsuccessful (19-0).
Scotland provided a quick-fire response with wing Darcy Graham scoring his side’s first try of the game just a minute later. Lineen’s charges won their own kick-off and moved the ball wide to the try-scorer, who made a trademark break down the flank to initiate the foray before hitting an inside line off Simmers in the subsequent phase to dive over for the score. Josh Henderson was unable to add the extras with the difficult touchline conversion (19-5).
England captain Zach Mercer secured his side a try-bonus point eight minutes from the final whistle to put the win out of sight of the Dark Blues. The back-row won the footrace following a grubber-kick behind the visitors’ defensive line and pounced on the ball for the score. Malins added the extras (26-5).
The home-side added a final score on 78 minutes as they spun the ball wide from a turnover and exploited an attacking overlap which replacement Theo Brophy-Clews took full advantage of as he scampered up the wing unscathed for the try. Malins converted (33-5).
FULL-TIME: England U20 33 – 5 Scotland U20
|22||Theo Brophy Clews|
|Scotland U20||38||v||17||Italy U20|
|England U20||33||v||5||Scotland U20|
|Scotland U20||34||v||65||Wales U20|
|France U20||36||v||8||Scotland U20|
|Scotland U20||19||v||20||Ireland U20|