Scotland under-20 head coach Colin Robertson admits his side learnt a tough lesson at the hands of 6 Nations leaders England after losing 41-15 at Falkirk.Scotland U20 15 England U20 41
Scotland under-20 head coach Colin Robertson admits his side learnt a tough lesson at the hands of 6 Nations leaders England after losing 41-15 at Falkirk.
Despite scoring tries through Lewis Calder and Lewis Niven, England, who were reduced to 14-men just before half-time, enjoyed the upper hand.
And Robertson highlighted a few positives that emerged from the match but conceded England were the better team on the night.
"It was a disappointment, but you've got to be realistic as well; they are a very good side. They have rolled everybody else over and they made life very difficult for us, especially at the breakdown at the set-piece.
_x001C_We had our moments, but unfortunately we didn't have enough of them. We stuck to the task and got points on the board. But generally we found it a very hard task."
Captain Lewis Calder and Lewis Niven both scored heroic tries at Falkirk but England ran out comfortable victors by scoring a handful of tries.
England took an early lead in Falkirk when inside centre Alex Goode, later named man of the match, scored a successful penalty, but Scotland responded immediately when Ruaridh Jackson nailed a tricky penalty to level the score.
But England cut through Scotland's defence with ruthless precision when openside Matt Cox superbly off-loaded to enable Seb Stegmann to cross the whitewash.
Goode added the extras to hand Scotland a difficult margin to overcome in the formative stages of a fast-paced game.
Nevertheless Colin Robertson's side rallied round collectively and were unfortunate to see Jackson's long range penalty attempt fall short of the target.
Then to make matters worse for the home side England dealt a killer blow when an enterprising attacking move resulted in Noah Cato crossing the whitewash.
Goode added the conversion before seeing his penalty effort cannon off the posts, but England miraculously picked up the rebound and staged another purposeful attack.
Driving over from close range, England captain Hugo Ellis grounded the ball for the visitors' third try of a one-sided game.
To heighten Scotland's woes, scrum half Ross Samson was yellow-carded just after the half-hour mark; leaving the home side understaffed and under intense pressure.
But England were then permanently reduced to 14-men when lock forward Ben Thomas was dismissed by referee James Jones for allegedly aiming a head-butt at a Scotland player.
Half-time score: Scotland 3 England 22
After the break, Scotland came out and played with some real gusto and captain Calder led by example by scoring a heroic try.
Scotland's collective confidence visibly grew after the score and Fraser Brown dispatched a smart off-load during an encouraging spell.
But any hopes of a revival were short-lived when England scrum-half Joe Simpson raced through to score a breakaway try.
England then turned on the style with Goode's sidestep opening up the Scottish defence and Cox cruised through to score.
The away side cranked up the pressure with brutal efficiency and Cato ran through to score his second with Scotland.
Lewis Niven scored a late try much to the joy of the home side, but it proved to be a consolation effort while James Murray added the conversion.
Scotland U20: Murray Allan; Lee Jones, Chris Kinloch (Paul Loudon), Steven Wilson, Tom Bury, Ruardidh Jackson, Ross Samson (Matthew Heeks); Gary Strain, Fraser Brown (Adrian Duncan), Lewis Niven, Neale Patrick (Craig Simmonds), Josh Brown, Fraser McKenzie, Lewis Calder (captain), Jonny Baird (Steven Burton).