Argentina test a bridge too far for young Scots

Following their win on Sunday over Italy, which ensured participation in next year’s Championship, Scotland under-20 couldn’t maintain their form against Argentina this morning and were defeated 21-41.

After a quiet opening half hour, three converted tries in the next half hour put them a do-able 21-26 behind, before Argentina stormed ahead and kept their feet on the gas until the final whistle.

Head coach Sean Lineen said: “The boys didn’t really turn up during a pretty average first half and struggled with physicality of the Argentinians. They showed good character coming back at 26-21 then, unfortunately, they got an intercept in the last 15 minutes, away they went and put the game beyond us.

“We scored three good tries, a great score from a lineout drive by Shaun MacDonald, Gav Lowe got a good try from a kick-through, and Magnus Bradbury nailed a good try too. We scored some good points in the second half.”

 Argentina put the first points on the board, with a penalty after three minutes, coinciding with the first substitution for Scotland when centre Chris Dean was replace by Sam Pecqueur.

Winger Jamie Farndale had a good break in the opening period but a resulting maul was penalised against Scotland and Argentina stepped up to score in the corner, the conversion good, followed by another penalty to increase their lead to 0-13 after 26 minutes.


With Argentina now dominant up front, they dotted down for another converted try, off a maul, followed by a further penalty, for offside as half time loomed.

Scotland needed to lift themselves and did so just two minutes later when number 8 Magnus Bradbury, took off at pace down the wing and touched down in the corner, the try converted by stand-off Rory Hutchinson, pulling back the scoreline to 7-23 at half time.

Fired up by that score it was just three minutes into the second half when Scotland scored again, a line break to touch down in the corner from substitute Shaun MacDonald, the extras added again by Hutchinson (14-23)

Argentina extended their lead with another penalty then a huge kick into the corner from stand-off Gavin Parker, three minutes after coming off the bench, was returned to full back Gavin Lowe who chipped and scored in the corner. Lowe continued to convert his own try, bringing the scores back to 21-26 after 65m.

The momentum of advantage was lost five minutes later, however, when a loose pass by scrum half Ben Vellacott was intercepted, resulting in another converted try for Argentina (21-33). Compounded by a further try and a late penalty, the game ended 21-41 in Argentina’s favour.

Summing up their Junior World Championship, Lineen said: “It was all about survival. This tournament was pretty tough. We’ve got a lot of work to do but, ultimately, the guys did enough, well, to make sure we’re in this tournament next year. We’ve got to look at ways to improve what we’re doing.

“It’s great that we’re going to be here next year and I’m delighted for the players – they’ve put an awful lot of effort in – they had to work really hard for that victory over Italy [on Sunday], a turnaround from the 32-13 they beat us in the 6 Nations.”


Photo: The team receive their participation medals from Scottish Rugby IRB representative John Jeffrey

The result of this match means Scotland finish in tenth position, the same placing as last year, ensuring qualification for the 2015 IRB Junior World Championship in Italy where they’ll be pooled with New Zealand, Ireland and Argentina.

This year’s tournament was won by England, who beat South Africa 21-20, with third place going to New Zealand, who defeated Ireland 45-23. Australia finished fifth, seeing off France 34-27, with Wales in 7th and Samoa 8th (their match score was 20-3). Next year’s hosts, Italy came 11th with Fiji relegated to the IRB Junior Rugby World Trophy competition for 2015. Japan won promotion from this year’s lower tier competition and will take their place after their fourth successive final appearance. 

Scotland under-20 team v Argentina under-20

15 Gavin Lowe (Glasgow Hawks/Glasgow Warriors) ** (try 64m, con 65m)
14 Jamie Farndale (Edinburgh Accies/Edinburgh Rugby) **
13 Chris Dean (Edinburgh Accies/Scotland 7s) **
12 Blair Hutchison (Loughborough University/Melrose)
11 Damien Hoyland (Melrose) *
10 Rory Hutchinson (Northampton Saints) (convs 36m, 46m)
9 Alex Glashan (Edinburgh Accies/ Scotland 7s) **
1 Phil Cringle (Edinburgh Accies/Edinburgh Rugby) **
2 James Malcolm (Ayr) *
3 D'arcy Rae (Ayr/Glasgow Warriors) **
4 Andy Cramond (Aberdeen Grammar)
5 Lewis Carmichael (Melrose) *
6 Neil Irvine-Hess (Watsonians/Edinburgh Rugby) **
7 Tommy Spinks (London Scottish) (captain)
8 Magnus Bradbury (Boroughmuir/Edinburgh Rugby) ** (try 35m)
16 Sam James (London Wasps) (on for Malcolm, 61m)
17 Jack Cosgrove (Worcester Warriors) (on for Cringle, 61m)
18 Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Hawks) (on for Rae, 19m)
19 Jamie Ritchie (Strathallan School/Howe of Fife) * (on for Cramond 61m)
20 Shaun MacDonald (Stirling County) (on for Irvine-Hess, 35m) (try 45m)
21 Ben Vellacott (Hartpury/Gloucester) (on for Glashan 40m)
22 Gavin Parker (Exeter University) (on for Hutchinson, 63m)
23 Sam Pecqueur (Edinburgh Accies) (on for Dean, 4m)

Scotland under-20 squad for IRB Junior World Cup
Magnus Bradbury (Boroughmuir/Edinburgh Rugby) **
Lewis Carmichael (Melrose) *
Ben Chalmers (Melrose)
Gabriel Carroll (Loughborough University)
Jack Cosgrove (Worcester Warriors)
Andrew Cramond (Aberdeen Grammar)
Philip Cringle (Edinburgh Accies/Edinburgh Rugby) **
Chris Dean (Edinburgh Accies/Scotland 7s)
Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Hawks)
Jamie Farndale (Edinburgh Accies/Edinburgh Rugby) **
Cameron Fenton (Strathallan School/Howe of Fife) *
Alex Glashan (Edinburgh Accies/Scotland 7s)
Neil Herron (Glasgow Hawks/Scotland 7s)
Damien Hoyland (Melrose) *
Rory Hutchinson (Northampton Saints)
Blair Hutchison (Loughborough University/Melrose)
Neil Irvine-Hess (Watsonians/Edinburgh Rugby) **
Sam James (London Wasps)
Gavin Lowe (Glasgow Hawks/Glasgow Warriors) **
James Malcolm (Ayr) *
Shaun MacDonald (Stirling County)
Gavin Parker (Exeter University)
Sam Pecqueur (Edinburgh Accies)
D'arcy Rae (Ayr/Glasgow Warriors) **
Jamie Ritchie (Strathallan School/Howe of Fife) *
Tommy Spinks (London Scottish) (captain)
Ben Vellacott (Hartpury/Gloucester)
Glen Young (Newcastle Falcons)
Ruairidh Young (Edinburgh Accies)
* member of Scottish Rugby's Regional Academy supported by sportscotland Institute of Sport
**Elite Development Player 2013/14
The IRB Junior World Cup 2014 is being held in Auckland, New Zealand. Scotland's pool games were against:
South Africa (5-61) watch highlights here
Samoa (18-27) watch highlights here
New Zealand (7-54) watch highlights here
9-12 play-off Italy (21-18) watch highlights here

Last year, Scotland finished in 10th place in the tournament. The 2015 tournament will be held in Italy,
Broadcast coverage
Scotland's game against New Zealand (Tuesday 10 June) was shown live on Sky Sports 2 HD. Highlights of Scotland's other fixtures are accessible approximately 12 hours after the end of each game via Due to broadcast rights issues, these matches will not be streamed live in the UK.