Midway through their latest training camp, Scotland's under-20 squad took on a Melrose/Heriot's side on Murrayfield's back pitch last night, posting a 22-5 win alongside some shining performances despite the windswept conditions.
The side's four tries included two from replacement and late call-up, exile Buchan Richardson, recently returned from Australia who flew north on the day, making a taxi dash from Glasgow for kick-off after his Edinburgh flight was diverted following the airport's closure. Wing/fullback Sam Pecqueur and second row Glen Young added the other scores with a conversion from stand-off George Horne.
After a tentative start, with an early try from Melrose, the youngsters visibly grew in confidence with pacey performances across the board, the team ably led by Tommy Spinks with solid performances in attack from fullback Gavin Lowe and Horne, and power in the pack spearheaded by hooker Sam James and prop D'arcy Rae.
Head coach Sean Lineen said: "It was all about performance, seeing what the players take forward and showing what they've got.
"I thought they showed a lot of intensity in pretty horrible conditions on a heavy pitch and I was really pleased with what I saw."
The coaching team will continue to work with players on individual skills and game plans for the remaining two days of the camp which signals the penultimate squad session prior to the under-20 6 Nations kicking off in Ireland on 31 January.
Scotland under-20 team v Melrose/Heriots
15. Gavin Lowe (Glasgow Hawks/Glasgow Warriors) ** 14. Angus Rennie (Aberdeen Grammar) * 13. Iain Sexton (Edinburgh University) 12. Neil Herron (Scotland 7s) 11. Jamie Farndale (Edinburgh Accies/Edinburgh Rugby) ** 10. Ben Cooper (Boroughmuir) 9. Murdo McAndrew (Clermont Auvergne) ; 1. Jack Cosgrove (Worcester Warriors) 2. Sam James (London Wasps) 3. D'arcy Rae (Ayr/Glasgow Warriors)** 4. Glen Young (Newcastle Falcons) 5. Andrew Cramond (Aberdeen Grammar) 6. Neil Irvine-Hess (Watsonians/Edinburgh Rugby)** 7. Shaun MacDonald (Stirling County) 8. Tommy Spinks (cpt) (London Scottish)
Subs: (all used) Cameron Fenton (Srathallan/Howe of Fife)* Chris Barnes (Glasgow Hawks) James Malcolm (Ayr)* Sam Thomson (Worcester Students) Lewis Carmichael (Melrose)* Ben Vellacott (Worcetser Warriors/Hartpury) Henry Slater (Durham University) Damien Hoyland (Melrose)* Ross Graham (Hawick) Joe Jones (College Rovers U20/Durban Sharks U19) Buchan Richardson (London Scottish) Calum Wood (Glasgow Warriors)** George Horne (Currie)* Sam Pecqueur (Edinburgh Accies)
* member of Scottish Rugby's Regional Academy supported by sportscotland Institute of Sport
** Elite development player 2013/14