Scotland under-20 have completed their IRB Junior World Championship on a high after tallying up more than 60 points against Samoa.
They won the match 62-28 against the Pacific islanders and finished one place above last year, taking the step from tenth place into ninth.
Nine tries were scored this afternoon by the Scots, with the first three coming from centre Finn Russell, prop Robin Hislop and winger Tom Steven, in the first 20 minutes. They were joined on the score sheet by winger Jamie Farndale on two occasions, replacement centre Tommy Allan, who also touched down twice, lock Andrew Redmayne and captain Harry Leonard. Leonard supplemented the tries with a penalty and seven conversions.
Head coach Peter Wright said: “This was a great team performance. We stood out particularly at the set piece and our dominant start stood us in good stead for the rest of the match.
“Samoa came back late in the first half and early in the second, so we had to turn the screw and recreate our dominant position.
“It’s good to finish the tournament in ninth place, one place above last year and our highest position since 2009.
“Jamie Farndale was phenomenal again today and currently leads the championship’s top try table, but everyone made this win happen.”
At the conclusion of the match, Edinburgh Rugby colleagues Leonard and Farndale led the top-points scorer table for the tournament and the top try-scoring table, respectively. Leonard scored 54 points in the campaign and sits 13 points ahead of Wales’s Tom Pyrdie, with the Welsh still to play their final game.
Farndale touched down six times throughout the Scots’ five matches and is three ahead of New Zealand’s Jason Emery and Milford Keresoma, South Africa’s Jan Serfontein and Fiji’s Samu Kerevi and Aca Simolo. All three southern hemisphere sides had have still to play their last fixture.
Run of play:
The young Scots racked up four tries, three conversions and a penalty in the first half hour before Samoa bounced back with 14 points in the last ten minutes of the first period. Their scores came from winger Utu Poliko and centre Robert Lilomaiava. Number 14 Fomai Ah Ki converted both tries.
Half-time: Scotland under-20 29-14 Samoa under-20
Early in the second-half the Scots’ opponents came out all guns blazing and within two minutes Lilomaiava scored his second try. Ah Ki converted and the Samoans were hot on the young Scots’ heels. 29-21
It wasn’t long though before Scotland were on the board again with Farndale completing his brace and Allan following in his footsteps with two tries of his own. Leonard converted all three and the Scots were comfortably ahead again. 50-21
With less than ten minutes left on the clock the two sides exchanged a try apiece with Redmayne crossing for the Scots and replacement prop Fale Iosefa crossing for the Samoans. Both tries were converted by their respective kickers. 57-28
The young Scots continued to play ferociously right up until the final whistle and with Samoa’s flanker, Talaga Alofipo, being red carded Leonard was able to complete the scoring with one last try. He missed the conversion and the whistle went. 62-28
Full-time: Scotland under-20 62-28 Samoa under-20
Scotland under-20 team: Sam Hidalgo-Clyne; Jamie Farndale, Keith Buchan, Finn Russell, Tom Steven; Harry Leonard (captain), Murray McConnell; Robin Hislop, George Turner, Alex Allan, Gary Graham, Andrew Redmayne, Will Bordill, Callum Reid, Mitch Eadie.
Replacements: Struan Cessford (for Bordill, 75mins), Jamie Bhatti (for Hislop, 67mins), Gavin Robertson (for Allan, 67mins), Andrew Nagle (for Eadie, 54mins), Stuart Smith (for Graham, 59mins), Matt Torrance (for McConnell, 66mins), Tommy Allan (for Buchan, 44mins), Michael Crawley (for Steven, 51mins).
Samoa under-20 team: Peter Schuster; Fomai Ah Ki, Robert Lilomaiava, Toetu David, Utu Poliko; Zachary Schuster, Faatafa Maiava; Aniseto Sio, Ropeti Lafo (captain), Andrew Broomhall, Senio Toleafoa, Tumama Tu’ulua, Talaga Alofipo, Elia Togitele, Airi Hunt.
Replacements: Raymond Salu, Alex Iosefa, Petelo Masei, Tofatuimoana Solia, Risati Faamatuainu, Potoae Sasagi, Lomitusi Ulu, Fale Isoefa.