Scotland under-20 posted a competent 30-17 victory over their Scotland Club XV counterparts tonight at BT Murrayfield.
The match comes ahead of the Under-20 6 Nations and Scotland Club XV’s two international matches in February.
It was a game of two halves with the under-20s leading 18-0 at half-time, before the team made up of club players from the BT Premiership pulled it back to 18-17 just shy of the hour mark.
However, the youngsters held on to their lead and ended with a flurry.
Scotland under-20 Head Coach, Sean Lineen, said: “The Club XV boys were physical, but the players stepped up and went in ahead, 18-0 at half-time.
They showed a lot of energy and belief and tore into their opponents. I couldn’t be happier because they were defensively outstanding.
“We achieved what we set out to do.”
Despite the defeat it was also a valuable exercise for Scotland Club XV.
Head Coach, Phil Smith, said: “The boys had four sessions coming into this and it took about 40 minutes to get into the tie, but this was a good match for us.
We have a group of good players and they got to grips with the pace of the game and we secured some possession, but the under-20s played a fast paced game and showed their experience together.”
After five minutes under-20 scrum-half George Horne slotted a penalty to score the first points of the match. 3-0
Play was then delayed as Club XV lock Calum Templeton sustained an ankle injury that saw him retire from the game.
The under-20s showed a lot of composure in the first half and seemed a little more comfortable in their game. After 18 minutes a try came from full-back Ruairi Howarth, before lock Scott Cummings bulldozed over the whitewash after 36 minutes. Horne converted the first of these tries. 15-0
Horne then slotted a second penalty on the half-time whistle.
Half-time: Scotland under-20 18-0 Scotland Club XV
A series of changes were made to the Club XV line-up at the break and these seemed to add a bit of spark to the side.
Scrum-half George Graham was impressive and after ten minutes he sent centre Ross Curle en route to the try line. First he ran wide before stepping inside twice to score under the posts. 18-5
Four minutes later the Club XV were on the board again, this time it was under-20 replacement wing Reuben Norville who crossed the whitewash. Then once again the Graham brothers, George and Gary, were influential in a third Club XV try that saw Curle score his second. This try was converted by stand-off Gregor McNeish 18-17
Having been quiet in the second period, the under-20s then found their stride again and with 18 minutes to go, Horne touched down. 23-17
The match then ended with replacement stand-off Ben Chalmers running in a fantastic score under the posts, which was set up after some strong running on the wing from Alec Coombes.
Full-time: Scotland under-20 30-17 Scotland Club XV
Scotland under-20 team: Ruairi Howarth; Harvey Elms, Archie Russell, Patrick Kelly, Alex Coombes; Tom Galbraith, George Horne; Murray McCallum, Ross Graham, Zander Fagerson, Lewis Carmichael, Scott Cummings, Lewis Wynne, Jamie Ritchie CAPTAIN and Magnus Bradbury.
Replacements: Jake Kerr, Gary Robertson, Dan Eklington, Neil Irvine-Hess, Ally Miller, Andrew Manson, Ben Chalmers and Ruaridh Smith [all used].
Scotland Club XV team: Keith Buchan (Heriot's); Craig Gossman (Ayr), Ross Curle (Ayr), Chris Auld (Gala), Scott McLeod (Hawick); Gregor McNeish (Heriot's), Graham Wilson (Heriot's); Nick Beavon (Melrose), Russell Anderson (Gala), Struan Cessford (Heriot's), Scott Sutherland (Ayr), Callum Templeton (Ayr), Gary Graham (Gala), Tommy Spinks (Glasgow Hawks) and Ross Weston (Currie).
Replacements: Ewan McQuillin (Melrose), Stephen Findlay (Glasgow Hawks), Shawn Muir (Hawick), Malcolm Peacock (Boroughmuir), Iain Moody (Boroughmuir), George Graham (Gala), Stuart Edwards (Heriot's) and Reuben Norville (unattached) [all used].
Referee: Andrew McMenemy