The touring Scotland under-19 development side opened their two-Test account with a convincing, five-try win over their Romanian counterparts at the Arcul de Triumf, Bucharest today (31-3).
After what would turn out to be a relatively slow start, in which the side created a lot but finished little, the young Scots quickly found their feet and kicked into gear.
Leicester Tigers Academy wing, Reuben Norville [pictured], was the talk of the town with a hat-trick, while fellow wing and George Watsons College pupil Robbie Nairn and Melrose RFC and Loretto School centre George Taylor also got on the scoresheet to complete the win.
Norville’s tries came through a combination of individual awareness and pace, the first a blistering dash down the touchline; the second a fine, first-phase attack from the training ground, which saw him run a fine line off lineout ball to race clean under the posts; and third secured thanks to a beautifully weighted cross-field kick from Edinburgh Rugby EDP and Gala stand-off Ruairi Howarth.
Nairn showed a similar turn of pace for his score, with some stiff-arm strength earning him the space to do so, while outside-centre Taylor registered the team’s fifth and final score with a neat step inside, with wingers in wait holding the defence.
Scotland under-18 head coach, Eddie Pollock, who is coaching the development side, said: “The good thing is that the starting group were made up of players who hadn’t had much game time during the under-18 campaign, and those players played a long time and played well.
The scrum and lineout were effective and, although we created a lot of opportunities which we didn’t finish, it was good to see us create those chances and then clearly improve as the game went on.”
The Scotland U19 development team will now prepare to face Romania’s under-20 team at the same venue this Sunday (24 August, kick-off 9am UK time).
Pollock added: “Romania under-20 will be much more physical and, in this intense heat, was always going to be the hardest game.
It’ll be a real test of the players but we’ll be better for having this match [against Romania U19] under our belts and are looking forward to it.”.
Scotland Under-19: 15 James Couper, 14 Rouen Norville, 13 George Taylor, 12 Max McFarlane, 11 Robbie Nairn, 10 Ruairi Howarth, 9 Andrew Manson, 1 Lyall Archer, 2 Jake Kerr, 3 Murray McCallum, 4 Andrew Davidson, 5 Callum Hunter-Hill, 6 Fraser Christie, 7 Chris Jollands, 8 Ally Miller CAPTAIN. Substitutes: 16 Cameron Fenton on for Kerr (60'), 17 Dan Elkington on for Archer (45'), 18 Callum Sheldon on for McCallum (45'), 19 Nick Gray on for Hunter-Hill (60'), 20 Lewis Wynne on for Christie (50'), 21 Matthew Smith on for Jollands (50'), 22 Duncan Swanson on for Manson (50'), 23 Angus Rennie on for McFarlane (50'), 24 Ruaridh Smith on for Couper (50').