Scotland’s under-18 side kicked off their outing at the international festival in Llandovery this afternoon (Friday 2 April) with a much improved performance against their English counterparts.
Having been 9-5 ahead in the opening period of the first half, thanks to three penalties from the boot of Jamie Urquhart, Scotland let their opponents take the lead with two easy tries (uncoverted) to go into the break 9-15 down.
On opposing sides this afternoon, having been on the same winning team (Whitgift) just two days ago, were Scotland’s Jamie Stevenson and England’s Marlande Yarde who won the Daily Mail Cup at Twickenham.
For action photos from the game click here
With the wind at their backs for the first half, the Scots dominated territory and possession in the opening period, the forwards performing particularly well. Some defensive frailties, however, were effectively exposed by England who took their opportunities. Three tries in the first half from England’s Marlande Yarde put them six points clear of Jamie Urquhart’s three successful penalties at half time.
Yarde crossed the line for England again followed by a fifth score by Tommy Bell – both tries converted – to make the final score 9-29.
Said team manager Euan Kennedy: “In general this was a much improved performance and probably the best performance we’ve put on against an integrated English team in these past three years.
“They were a massive physical test, particularly to our forwards who rose to the challenge throughout and on many occasions turned them over.
If we can continue to perform like this up front and improve on our wider defence then we can go into our next two games with confidence.”
All players have to start at least one game during the Festival so it is a 26-player-plus-10-management squad effort to support the starting players and plan for impact substitutions.
Scotland under-18 v England under-18 on Friday 2 April at Llandovery RFC, Wales
15 Jamie Urquhart (Stirling County)
14 Harris Jones (Boroughmuir) *
13 Michael Crawley (Stewart’s Melville College)
12 Jack Bradford (Worksop College)
11 Aidan McCall Hagan (West of Scotland)
10 Sam Knudson (Aberdeen Grammar School)
9 Murray McConnell (Lenzie Academy / West of Scotland) (captain) *
1 Robin Hislop (Hawick Wanderers) **
2 George Turner (Stewart’s Melville College)
3 Fraser Watt (East Kilbride)
4 Stuart Smith (North Berwick)
5 William Kay (Boroughmuir)
6 Mitch Eadie (Filton College)
7 Adam de Ste Croix (Boroughmuir)
8 Lawrie Seydak (Edinburgh Academy)
Substitutes (all used)
Harry Leonard (Brighton College), Stuart Hogg (Heriot’s) **, Andrew Hall (Strathallan), Jamie Stevenson (Whitgift), Alex Allan (Sedbergh School), Andrew Redmayne (Kilmarnock), Rory Sutherland (Hawick Wanderers)
* Member of National Academy supported by AIS (Area Institute of Sport)
** Member of National Academy supported by Scottish Rugby
Scotland under-18 - international festival in Wales
Tuesday 6 April - Scotland under-18 v Italy under-18, Llandovery (kick-off 4pm)
Saturday 10 April - Scotland under-18 v Ireland under-18, Llandovery (kick-off 4pm)