Scotland under-20 will face Fiji in the knockout stages of the IRB TOSHIBA Junior World Championships on Wednesday (17 June) after they defeated hosts Japan at the Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium, Tokyo, today (7 -12).
Following the reduction of the 2010 IRB Junior World Championships from 16 to 12 teams – with only the top three qualifiers from each of this season’s four pools guaranteed a place – Scotland faced a must win match against a tough Japanese side in front of over 10000 spectators.
Despite an edgy start Scotland earned the deserved lead after 20 minutes when, following good phase play in Japanese territory, the ball made its way out wide and into the hands of robust winger Grant Anderson, who collected well and forced his way over at the corner for an unconverted score.
Ten minutes later, good interplay between back-row stalwarts Stuart McInally and Chris Fusaro was rewarded with the Scots’ second try of the half when Fusaro burst through, brushed off the last defender and touched down.
Full-back Peter Horne made no mistake with the close range kick.
The first-half lead was enough to secure the win though a converted score for Japan with 20 minutes left ensured a tense finish.
Scotland under-20 head coach, Rob Moffat, said: “It was good to get the win which we will look to build on in terms of confidence and momentum but I’m glad we still have two games left because we can play better than we’ve played so far in this championship.
“We looked a bit edgy and nervous in the in the first half but it was good for the players’ development to play in such a high pressured situation because at this level it is just as important [as the win] to have good professionals coming through.”
Scotland will play Fiji on Wednesday 17 June at the Hanazono Stadium, Osaka (kick-off 7am BST) after the Fijians defeated Italy 20-14 in their Pool C third place decider.
Depending on results Scotland will go on to play either Tonga or Argentina in the final round of the Championships (Sunday 21 June).
Scotland under-20 team v Japan under-20 at the Chichibu Stadium, Tokyo (Saturday 13 June)
Peter Horne (Glasgow Warriors); Grant Anderson (Ayr)*, Alex Dunbar (Selkirk) **, Robbie Johnston (Leeds University and Leeds Carnegie), Ashleah McCulloch (Aberdeen Grammar Rugby) **; Andrew White (Glasgow Hawks) **, Peter Jericevich (Glasgow Hawks) *; Dougie Orr (Haddington) **, Fraser Brown (Watsonians)* CAPTAIN, David Morton (Bridgwater and Albion), Nick Campbell (Glasgow Hawks) **, Richie Gray (Glasgow Warriors), Ryan Wilson (London Scottish), Stuart McInally (Watsonians) *, Chris Fusaro (Heriot’s) *
Finlay Gillies (Heriot’s) ** on for Brown, Grant Shiells (Kelso) on for Orr, Robert Harley (West of Scotland) * on for Campbell, Struan Dewar (Heriot’s) ** on for Wilson, Henry Pyrgos (Wimbourne) on for Jericevich
* Denotes a member of the Scottish National Contracted Academy
** Denotes a member of the Scottish Rugby National Academy supported by the Scottish Institute of Sport
Scotland under-20 continuing match schedule
Wednesday 17 June – Scotland v Fiji, Hanazono Stadium, Osaka (kick-off 7am BST)
Sunday 21 June – Scotland v (Tonga or Argentina), Hanazono Stadium, Osaka (kick-off tbc)
THE FULL SCOTLAND UNDER-20 SQUAD
Peter Jericevich (Glasgow Hawks) *, Henry Pyrgos (Wimbourne), Andrew White (Glasgow Hawks) **, Alex Dunbar (Selkirk) **, Robbie Johnston (Leeds University and Leeds Carnegie), James Knight (Bedford), Ashleah McCulloch (Aberdeen Grammar) **, Steven Aitken (Aberdeen Grammar) **, Grant Anderson (Ayr) *, Peter Horne (Glasgow Warriors), Tom Brown (Edinburgh Accies) *, Robbie McGowan (Stirling County)
Fraser Brown CAPTAIN (Watsonians)*, Finlay Gillies (Heriot’s) **, Gavin Cameron (Stirling County) **, David Morton (Bridgewater and Albion), Douglas Orr (Haddington) **, Grant Shiells (Kelso), Nick Campbell (Glasgow Hawks) **, Grant Gilchrist (Stirling County) *, Richard Gray (Glasgow Warriors), Robert Harley (West of Scotland) **, Struan Dewar (Heriot’s) **, Chris Fusaro (Heriot’s) *, Stuart McInally (Watsonians) *, Ryan Wilson (London Scottish)