Scots Out-Muscled In Disappointing Opening

Scotland under-18 6 England under-18 15 Scotland, out-gunned at too many contact areas by a traditionally elephantine English side, made a disappointing start to the RBS 6 Nations U18 Festival at Burnbrae, Glasgow this afternoon. The Scots only points came from two first-half penalties by stand-off Andrew White, whereas England had the game’s only tries, one in each half.Scotland under-18 6 England under-18 15

Scotland, out-gunned at too many contact areas by a traditionally elephantine English side, made a disappointing start to the RBS 6 Nations U18 Festival at Burnbrae, Glasgow this afternoon.

The Scots only points came from two first-half penalties by stand-off Andrew White, whereas England had the game’s only tries, one in each half.

England, for all the physical advantage they enjoyed, were very mechanical in their approach, other than scrum-half David Lewis who seemed to have some rugby about him. They were also well-led by powerful No 8 Carl Fearns.

Scotland, on the few occasions when the game broke up into a de-structured contest, could not make passes count.

Scotland head coach Colin Robertson said: “We had our spells, especially just before half-time, where we probably should have scored one of our two try chances. I was disappointed overall in our control at contact. We just weren’t accurate enough and, as a consequence, were turned over a few times.”

Scotland lost two players through injury. Wing Adam McKenzie took a bang to his neck/shoulder and was helped off after 11 minutes, while lock Fraser Galbraith was stretchered off just before the break. Galbraith was diagnosed concussed and will therefore miss the remainder of the festival. Scotland will consult the tournament doctor with a view to bringing in a replacement to their squad.

Scotland took the lead through White’s third minute penalty but England replied through a try by wing Sebastian Stegmann off a turnover and slick use of extra numbers. Stand-off Mark Davies converted.

Scotland full-back Steven Aitken was required to make a saving tackle on England centre Mike Stanley and though England continued to dominate possession, Scotland mis-cued a chance after Fraser Thomson spilled a pass when White gathered stray English ball.

Aitken then distinguished himself in attack with a break that all but enabled Thomson to score, the winger being tackled into touch in goal, before Aitken himself was held up just short off Struan Dewar’s lineout provision and Robbie Johnston’s midfield thrust.

Scotland at least did collect some points from this period of pressure through White’s offside penalty to leave them trailing 6-7 at the interval.

White failed from the ten-metre line, two minutes into the second-half, compounded when his opposite number Davies landed a simpler lineout offence penalty four minutes later.

Midway through the second-half Irish referee Leo Colgan sin-binned Scotland flanker Chris Fusaro for footwork that wasn’t to his liking at a breakdown, though quite why a card was produced at this juncture and not for offences in either team’s red-zone was a bit of a mystery.

England ultimately exploited their extra man. A try from substitute stand-off Rob Miller was their reward for an inspired attack off turnover ball, sparked by their ever-eager scrum-half Lewis.

The referee then dished out a yellow card for England lock Graham Kitchener but Scotland could not string any continuity together as England’s dominance at breakdown was maintained.

Scotland under-18: Steven Aitken (Ellon); Fraser Thomson (Gala/Galashiels Academy), Paul Loudon (Edinburgh Accies) captain, Robbie Johnston (Newark), Adam McKenzie (Barnard Castle School); Andrew White (Annan), Chris Jackson (Newbury); Cameron Godfrey (Biggar/Merchiston Castle School), Finlay Gillies (Haddington), David Morton (Bristol Academy), Richard Gray (Glasgow Hawks), Fraser Galbraith (George Watson’s College), Struan Dewar (Strathallan), Tom Drennan (BATs/Trinity Academy), Chris Fusaro (Howe of Fife/Bell Baxter HS).

Subs used: Craig Findlater (Highland) for McKenzie (11 mins), Nick Campbell (Allan Glen’s) for Galbraith (35 mins), Andrew Dymock (High School of Dundee) for Jackson (half-time), Fraser Brown (Biggar/Merchiston Castle School) for Gillies and Dougie Orr (North Berwick HS) for Morton (both 52 mins), Steve Wilson (Howe of Fife/Bell Baxter HS) for Johnston (57mins).

England under-18: Greig Tonks; Sebastian Stegmann, Luke Eves, Mike Stanley, Henry Trinder; Mark Davies, David Lewis; Joseph Marler, James Clark, James Currie, Graham Kitchener, Courtney Lawes, Calum Clark, Carl Fearns captain, Tom Sargeant.
Subs used: Jacob Rowan for C Clark (43 mins), Rob Miller for Davies and Tom Collett for J Clark (both 45 mins), Dan Williams for Lawes (50 mins), Ben Moon for Marler (58 mins).


Referee: Leo Colgan (Ireland)

Crowd: 650

In today's other matches Wales defeated France 30-16 and Ireland accounted for Italy 22-5.