A trio of second-half tries was not enough to secure success for Scotland U16 who lost 26-20 to England South at the Wellington International festival this afternoon.
Despite opening the scoring with a third-minute Adam Hastings penalty, it was England South who took hold of the first half, hitting back with pair of penalties either side of a missed Hastings’ attempt, before scoring and converting two tries.
The second half faired much better for the young Scots, who battled back into the match with three tries from wing Jacob Adamson, replacement wing Robbie Nairn (his second of the tournament) and back-row Scott McGinley.
Unfortunately each of the Scotland scores was followed by an England South penalty kick and, with only one of the Scottish scores converted, England South did just enough to hold on to their continually eroded lead, as the half progressed to the full-time whistle.
Once again the boys showed great team spirit to mount a phenomenal come back against a very strong England team." -- under-16 head coach Gary Mercer
“There were a couple of errors with regards to discipline, which we were punished for with kicks, but that’s an experience they’ll take away form this tournament.”
Scotland under-16’s try tally now sits at seven scores in two games, with Mercer clearly pleased with that facet of the youngsters’ game going into their next and final Wellington Test match, against France this Friday (5 April, kick-off 10.30am).
“There’s a lot of quality in the squad with a lot of strike runners who have the ability to express themselves,” he added.
“It’s not all about the result at this age. We agreed before the game that we wouldn’t take our kicks and instead looked to run the ball.
“What we ask of the boys at this age is for a performance, and we’re definitely getting that at the moment.”
Scotland under-16: 15 Saul Melvin-Farr; 14 Jacob Adamson, 13 Charlie Lonergan, 12 Adam Hastings, 11 Luke Taylor; 10 Josh Henderson, 9 Dan Nutton; 1 Fergus Bradbury, 2 Jack Solman, 3 Adam Nicol, 4 Scott Cummings, 5 Lewis Wynne, 6 Scott McGinley, 7 Angus Neilsen CAPTAIN, 8 Zach Mercer. Substitutes from: 16 Craig Cowan, 17 Lyall Archer, 18 Ross Gordon, 19 Lee Scott, 20 Callum Harris, 21 Andrew Davidson, 22 Henry Sampson, 23 Cameron Gray, 24. Sam Trowbridge, 25 Bruce Sorbie, 26 Robbie Nairn
Coaching team: Gary Mercer (head coach), Roddy Deans (assistant coach), Jamie Dempsey (assistant coach).