Late English Double Undoes Spirited Scots

Scotland Under-20 conceded two converted tries in the last five minutes to undermine a strong showing in their 38-18 IRB Junior World Championship defeat to England at the Stadio Comunale di Monigo in Treviso.

The young Scots suffered heavily to England (56-8) in this year’s U20 RBS 6 Nations but the improvements in the side, coupled with the return of stand-off Duncan Weir, who linked superbly with scrum-half Sean Kennedy, were of stark contrast as Scotland dominated large stretches and showed some inspirational interplay.

Scrum-half Sean Kennedy puts a chip over the top
Scotland Under-20 conceded two converted tries in the last five minutes to undermine a strong showing in their 38-18 IRB Junior World Championship defeat to England at the Stadio Comunale di Monigo in Treviso.

The young Scots suffered heavily to England (56-8) in this year’s U20 RBS 6 Nations but the improvements in the side, coupled with the return of stand-off Duncan Weir, who linked superbly with scrum-half Sean Kennedy, were of stark contrast as Scotland dominated large stretches and showed some inspirational interplay.

Weir slotted his first penalty kick in between a pair from opposite man, Owen Farrell, before England wing Marlande Yarde snatched an interception try to give England the breathing space they desired as Scotland, orchestrated expertly by Weir, pressed. Farrell converted, 13-3.

Weir kept apace with a composed drop-goal before England crossed the try line through winger Christian Wade, right at the end of the first-half.

Farrell converted once more and Scotland went in at the interval desperately needing to yield more from their efforts.

HALF TIME: 20-6

Thankfully for Scotland that cutting edge came to the table 12 minutes into the second-half when a series of lovely offloads allowed scrum-half Sean Kennedy to slip though beautifully and score.

Duncan Weir converted and Scotland were a single score adrift before England soaked up almost 20 minutes of pressure and countered.

Ryan Mills got the score but the missed conversion from George Ford gave Scotland a life line which outside centre Mark Bennett very nearly exploited only to be hauled down on the five metre line though all was not lost as winger Kerr Gossman finished off a lovely move in close quarters to keep up the underdog’s pressure.

Full-back Glenn Bryce joined the line, broke down the wide channel and slipped the ball to Gossman right on the touchline before the young Hawks winger took flight,  evaded the last tackler and finished the fine try.

However replacement stand-off and kicker Craig Jackson could not add the extras that would have mounted the pressure significantly, 25-18.

The exhausting game had taken its toll on both sets of players but, with space at his mercy, Chistian Wade crossed twice in as many minutes with Ford’s expert conversions combining to produce an agonising finish for the Scots.

FINAL SCORE: 39-18

SCOTLAND UNDER-20 TEAM: Glenn Bryce; Sam Atkin, Mark Bennett, Danny Gilmour, Kerr Gossman; Duncan Weir CAPTAIN, Sean Kennedy; Alex Allan, David Cherry, Colin Phillips, Mitchell Todd, Robert McAlpine, Mitch Eadie, Hamish Watson, James Tyas. Substitutes: Richard Ferguson on for Cherry (69'), George Hunter on for Phillips (47'), Robin Hislop on for Allan (47'), Jamie Swanson on for McAlpine (47'), Jamie Stevenson on for Kennedy (81'), Craig Jackson on for Weir (72'), Grant Runciman on for Todd (72')