Scotland under-20 have won their first match in the IRB Junior World Championship and sealed their place in the ninth place play-off final after beating Italy under-20 (34-17) in a seven try thriller.
It was another improved performance from the young Scots which saw centre Finn Russell, wing Jamie Farndale and number 8 Mitch Eadie all cross the line. Farndale and Eadie both scored two tries apiece and three of the scores were converted by stand-off and captain, Harry Leonard.
For head coach Peter Wright it was Eadie’s performance which set the scene for the Scots success.
He said: “Mitch was absolutely outstanding in this match, he along with a number of other’s in this side showed the attitude and determination of professionals today and built a strong platform for us to control the match early on.
“Throughout the week in the hotel, in training and out and about we made a conscious effort to make sure every player’s head was held high. This has definitely paid-off. Our scrums, line-outs and tackles were quality and we created five good tries.”
Scoring for the Italians was centre Giulio Bisegni and full-back David Odiete. Stand-off John Apperley converted both attempts and knocked-over a drop goal which opened the scoring three minutes into the match.
The young Scots will now take on the same opponents as the senior team in a double header next weekend against Samoa. The young south-sea islanders beat Fiji 29-20 in the other ninth place knock-out. The under-20s will play on Friday 22 June (kick-off 11am UK time) at the University of the Western Cape, while the senior team will play at 3.30am (UK time) on Saturday 23 June in Samoa.
Half-time: Scotland under-20 19-10 Italy under-20
Full-time: Scotland under-20 34-17 Italy under-20
Scotland under-20 team: Sam Hidalgo-Clyne; Jamie Farndale, Mark Bennett, Finn Russell, Tom Steven; Harry Leonard (captain), Murray McConnell; Robin Hislop, Fergus Scott, Alex Allan, Gary Graham, Andrew Redmayne, Will Bordill, Callum Reid, Mitch Eadie.
Replacements: George Turner (for Scott, 17mins), Jamie Bhatti, Gavin Robertson, Andrew Nagle (for Reid, 71mins), Stuart Smith (for Graham, 64mins), Matt Torrance (for McConnell, 78mins), Tommy Allan, Keith Buchan.
Italy under-20 team: David Odiete; Alex Morsellino, Giulio Bisegni, Andrea Bettin, Alessandro Tartaglia; John Apperley, Guido Calbrese; Sami Panico, Giovanni Maistri (captain), Pietro Ceccarelli, Matteo Ferro, Alfio Luca Mammana, Zanini Guglielmo, Jacopo Salvetti, Federico Conforti.
Replacements: Giovanni Scalvi, Luca Scarsini, Luca Conti, Alessio Zdrilich, Vittorio Marazzi, Marcello Violi, Edoardo Padovani, Giovanni Benvenuti.