Improvements Not Enough For Young Scots

Two disallowed tries meant Scotland under-20 left Inverness with nothing to show from an improved performance in their third successive 6 Nations defeat to Ireland tonight (0-15).

Ireland got the bulk of their scoring in a well-fought first-half, through a try and converted penalty try, before a solitary Irish penalty completed the scoring in a sticky second-half.

Two disallowed tries meant Scotland under-20 left Inverness with nothing to show from an improved performance in their third successive 6 Nations defeat to Ireland tonight (0-15).

Ireland got the bulk of their scoring in a well-fought first-half, through a try and converted penalty try, before a solitary Irish penalty completed the scoring in a sticky second-half.

Peter Wright, Scotland under-20 head coach, said: “It’s a disappointing result because the game was there to be won. We defended very well, particularly in the second-half, but if you give away soft tries then you’re going to struggle.

“You can’t keep defending for the whole game, we need more go forward, but this is a young team, they’ve learned some harsh lessons and are facing that challenge.”

The Scots started brightly, with their relatively young but mobile pack interchanging deft inside passes to progress into Irish territory, with the impressive Bath number 8, James Tyas, leading the charge.

A charged down clearance kick was grubbered through by centre Harry Leonard towards the try-line, where a sliding Irish defender was adjudged to have knocked on before the ball continued to bounce over the try-line.

Scotland stand-off Stuart Edwards was first on the scene but, just before he dotted down, referee Ian Tempest stopped play prematurely, leaving the players and crowd dumstruck as to why advantage had not been played and that crucial score not awarded.

As it was, after turning over the scrum (one of many in the match), the Irish went up the other end and got their first points on the board.

Camped on the Scots’ 5m line they repeatedly picked and went with a Munster-esque persistence and patience which was eventually rewarded when captain and hooker Niall Annett made the breakthrough.

Stand-off Patrick Jackson missed the conversion before the Scotland fought back once more, this time the mobile pack ploughed a maul forward from the Irish 22.

The impressive Tyas drove broke out and across the try-line amidst a pile of green and blue bodies but the Scots were out of luck once more as he was adjudged to have been held up.

Jackson missed the chance to extend Ireland’s lead after a Scottish offside however another Scottish infringement, this time for collapsing a 5m scrum, cost them a penalty-try with which Jackson made no mistake, 0-12.

HALF TIME: 0-12

Half an hour of a relatively uneventful and error strewn second-half passed with no scoring as the hosts watched two Leonard penalty kicks edge past the upright.

With ten minutes to go Jackson then stepped up once more to notch his and the match’s final score.

FULL-TIME: 0-15

Attendance: 2434
Man of the match: Ireland full-back, Michael Sherlock

SCOTLAND UNDER-20 TEAM: Glenn Bryce; Mike Doneghan, Mark Bennett, Harry Leonard  CAPTAIN, Kerr Gossman; Stuart Edwards, Jamie Stevenson; Robin Hislop, David Cherry, Colin Phillips, Mitchell Todd, Robert McAlpine, Alex Spence, Hamish Watson, James Tyas
Substitutes: Richard Ferguson on for Cherry (71’), George Hunter on for Phillips (55’), Andy Kirkland on for Todd (54’), Mitch Eadie on for Spence (55’), Sean Kennedy for Stevenson (60’), Craig Jackson on for Edwards (70’), Sam Atkin of for Bryce (75’)

WALES UNDER-20 TEAM: Michael Sherlock; Tiernan O’Halloran, Alex Kelly, JJ Hanrahan, Andrew Boyle; Patrick Jackson , Blane McIroy; James Tracy, Niall Annett CAPTAIN, Martin Moore, Michael Kearney, Daniel Qualter, Shane Buckley, Aaron Conneeley, Jordi Murphy
Substitutes: David Doyle on for Annett (71’), Tadhg Furlong on for Moore (71’), Iain Henderson on for Qualter (69’), Cathal O’Flaherty on for Kearney (79’), Mark Dolan on for McIlroy (60’), Gareth Quinn McDonogh on for Jackson (80’), Colm O’Shea on for Boyle (69’)