Win Secures Under-20 Place At Rugby'S Top Table

Scotland under-20 secured their place in next season’s IRB Junior World Championships today with a crucial victory over a Tonga at the Club Atletico Estudiantes in Argentina (28-8).

The wins means Scotland will take on Six Nations champions, Ireland, in the ninth-place play off having avoided avoided a difficult winner-takes-all relegation battle with Samoa in the 10th / 11th place play off - the loser of which will drop into the secondary competition - the World Trophy.

Scotland under-20 head coach, Eamon John, said: “The most important thing for me is that we did what we set out to do which was win this game and secure a place for Scottish rugby in the world’s top-tier age-grade competition...

Scotland under-20 secured their place in next season’s IRB Junior World Championships today with a crucial victory over a Tonga at the Club Atletico Estudiantes in Argentina (28-8).

The wins means Scotland will take on Six Nations champions, Ireland, in the ninth-place play off having avoided avoided a difficult winner-takes-all relegation battle with Samoa in the 10th / 11th place play off - the loser of which will drop into the secondary competition - the World Trophy.

Scotland under-20 head coach, Eamon John, said: “The most important thing for me is that we did what we set out to do which was win this game and secure a place for Scottish rugby in the world’s top-tier age-grade competition.

“I’m really happy for the players and the management who have worked really hard for these wins. They showed real character to pick themselves up off the canvass after two tough games against Australia and South Africa.

“We now have the opportunity to go on and finish the World Cup with a victory over the Six Nations champions.”

An explosive start from Scotland was complemented by some excellent kicking from stand-off Duncan Weir – his first penalty came after just three minutes before he converted a Stuart McInally try from out wide on the fifth.

After building several phases into Tongan territory captain McInally picked from the base of a ruck deep in the Tongan 22 and burrowed in on the blind-side, 10-0.

Tonga then got their first points on the board through the boot of scrum-half Manu Soatame before Weir slotted two more penalty kicks to close out a well structured and composed performance for the boys in blue.

HALF TIME: 16-3

Scotland continued their fine display after the break, scoring two tries in 10 minutes, either side of two Tongan missed penalties.

Replacement winger Michael Tait crossed the whitewash on the 50-minute mark having come in on the end of some good hands down the back-line to score at the corner flag.

Weir again made another difficult kick look easy before Alun Walker scored on the 59th.

The pacy hooker made a great break through a gap in the Tongan defence before rounding the winger to register a great score with the upright denying Weir’s conversion.

Tongan prop Mone Latu then crossed for an unconverted consolation try five minutes from time to end the game and send Scotland into a ninth-place play off with Ireland on Monday at the same venue.

FINAL SCORE: 28-8

Scotland team
Tom Brown; Oliver Grove, James Johnstone, Alex Dunbar, Dougie Fife; Duncan Weir, Alex Black; Anthony Kent, Alun Walker, Nicky Little, David Denton, Grant Gilchrist, Robert Harley, Michael Maltman, Stuart McInally
Substitutes (all used)
Adam Fedorciow (on for Walker), George Hunter (on for Little), Robert McAlpine (Harley), Callum Stidston-Nott (on for Maltman), Russell Weir (on for Black), Matthew Scott (on for Dunbar), Michael Tait (on for Fife)

Saturday 5 June - Australia 58-13 Scotland, Estadio CA Colon, Santa Fe
Wednesday 9 June - South Africa 73-0 Scotland, Estadio CA Colon, Santa Fe
Sunday 13 June - Scotland 27-3 Tonga, Club Atletico Estudiantes, Parana

KNOCKOUT PHASE (kick-off times are local, add four hours for BST)
9th Place Semi Final
Thursday 17 June – Ireland 31-10 Samoa, Club Atletico Estudiantes, Paraná
Thursday 17 June – Scotland 28-8 Tonga, Club Atletico Estudiantes, Paraná
5th Place Semi Final
Thursday 17 June – Wales 19-19 Argentina, Estadio CA Colon, Santa Fe
Thursday 17 June – France 44-9 Argentina Estadio CA Colon, Santa Fe
Semi Finals
Thursday 17 June – Australia 28-16 England Estadio El Coloso del Parque, Rosario
Thursday 17 June – New Zealand 36-7 South Africa Estadio El Coloso del Parque, Rosario

11th Place Play-off
Monday 21 June – Samoa v Tonga, Club Atletico Estudiantes, Paraná (kick-off 2.15pm)
9th Place Play-off
Monday 21 June – Ireland v Scotland Club Atletico Estudiantes, Paraná (kick-off 12 noon)
7th Place Play-off
Monday 21 June – Wales v Fiji Estadio CA Colon, Santa Fe (kick-off 12 noon)
5th Place
Monday 21 June – Argentina v France Estadio CA Colon, Santa Fe (kick-off 2.15pm)
3rd Place Play-off
Monday 21 June – England v South Africa Estadio El Coloso del Parque, Rosario (kick-off 4.45pm)
Final
Monday 21 June – Australia v New Zealand Estadio El Coloso del Parque, Rosario (kick-off 7.10pm)