Scotland U20 8, Ireland U20 31 The Scotland Under 20 team suffered another defeat at The Falkirk Stadium tonight, this time at the hands of Ireland U20, in their final home game of the 2007 U21 Six Nations Championship. However, the final result did not reflect the vastly improved performance from the previous two outings which saw the Scots dominate an Ireland side who remain unbeaten in this yearâ€™s Six Nations campaign.Scotland U20 8, Ireland U20 31
The Scotland Under 20 team suffered another defeat at The Falkirk Stadium tonight, this time at the hands of Ireland U20, in their final home game of the 2007 U21 Six Nations Championship.
However, the final result did not reflect the vastly improved performance from the previous two outings which saw the Scots dominate an Ireland side who remain unbeaten in this yearâ€™s Six Nations campaign.
Speaking after the game, Scotland U20 head coach Greig Oliver said: â€œThe boys need to learn a bit more about pressure rugby. The main question we have been asking ourselves over the past four games is â€˜What is pressure?â€™
â€œWe put a lot of pressure on Ireland in the first half and played the points, but in the second half, we were put under pressure which we couldnâ€™t control.â€
With Ireland keeping Scotland inside their own half during the opening minutes, it was the Scots who opened the scoring through a Cameron Ferguson penalty.
Only five minutes later, back-row Richie Vernon, who once again stood out as one of Scotlandâ€™s most powerful weapons, gave the crowds flashbacks to Rob Deweyâ€™s potential try during the Scotland v Wales game as he had a clear cut chance to score denied by the referee as the Italian official got in his way.
Following two missed penalties from Ferguson, Ireland came agonisingly close to recording their first try of the night.
As the ball popped out of the back of the ruck, a lack of communications from the Scotland backs saw Ireland pounce on the loose ball. However, a knock on meant Scotland were awarded a five-meter scrum and they managed to clear their line and give the respite they were looking for.
After an unnecessary six minutes of injury time, Ireland notched their first penalty to bring things level at the break.
Half-time score: Scotland U20 3, Ireland U20 3
The Scots made a nightmare start to the second half, conceding a penalty try after a single minute. Stand-off Keatly converted.
Darren Cave put another five points on the board in the 57th minute as an Irish break saw Shane Monahan burst up the right flank and offload to Cave who managed to stretch over the line for the score. Keatly converted.
In the 62nd minute, fullback Graham Hogg called the mark when receiving the ball in his own 22 from an Irish kick ahead. As he tapped to advance quickly, the Irish prop, Cian Healy, tackled him to delay the quick free-kick and was duly sent to the sinbin.
Three minutes later, Vernon struck gold as he powered home to score the Scotsâ€™ only try of the game.
Hogg collected the ball in his own 22 and initiated the break. A smart chip over the top of the Irish defence saw him break the line but he couldnâ€™t quite collect the ball under pressure from two Irish defenders. The ball then made itâ€™s way to Vernon who darted 30 meters to the line.
Ireland responded almost straight away as Richard Sweeney crossed the whitewash.
An Ireland pick and go from the break-down on the left flank put Sweeney under the posts virtually unchallenged. Keatly converted.
Moments later, after a terrific break from Vernon to take the Scots into a scoring position, Holroyd brought them closer to the line with a secondary attack. The ball was spun out wide to an unmarked Colin Goudie but a tackle from the covering defender saw him spill the ball over the line.
Then, as Irish winger Keith Earlsâ€™ name resonated around the ground via the PA system confirming him as the man of the match, he crossed the line to deal the final blow. Niall Oâ€™Connor converted.
Scotland U20: Graham Hogg; Colin Goudie, Rory Hutton, Robin Holroyd, Alex Grove; Cameron Ferguson CAPTAIN, Jamie Hunter; Alan Dymock, Pat MacArthur, Kyle Traynor, Willie Lipp, Fraser McKenzie, Richie Vernon, Graeme McGilchrist, Daniel Levison
Substitutes: David Lambert for McKenzie (71 mins), Bruce Pow for Traynor (73 mins), Nick McTaggart for Levison and Alec Jessop for Hutton (both 78 mins)
Unused: Nick Hart, Stuart McGee, David McCall
Ireland U20: Felix Jones; Shane Monahan, Darren Cave, Aidan Wynne, Keith Earls; Ian Keatley, Paul Oâ€™Donohoe; Cian Healy, Richard Sweeney, Jamie Hagan, Conor McInerney, Andrew Browne, Thomas Anderson, David Pollock, Kevin Sheahan
Substitutes: Ger Slattery, Ruaidhri Murphy Neilus Keogh, Eoghan Grace, David Drake, Niall Oâ€™Connor, Kyle Tonetti