Scotland Club XV won the Dalriada Cup tonight at Netherdale in a thrilling match against their Irish counterparts.
This kicks off an action packed weekend for Scotland representative teams, from the sevens in Wellington to the senior men’s and women’s teams in France.
Despite trailing 10-15 at half time, an impressive 60 metre solo try from Heriot’s flanker Jason Hill secured the victory and earned him the man-of-the-match title.
Hill was joined on the score sheet by Currie number 8 Ross Weston, who scored a try in the first half and scrum-half Graham Wilson who slotted three penalties and two conversions.
Head Coach Phil Smith said: “We were here to be ambitious and we kept the faith so it’s great to get a win.
Our first try showed what we were here to do and expressed the way we want to play going forward.
“We’ve done very little defence work but fronted up well despite the eight points before half time and throughout the match we managed to keep within touching distance.”
Scotland got the first points on the board at the 10 minute mark with Wilson putting away a penalty with ease. 3-0
Irish number 8 Jonathan Slattery retaliated with a try from a quick tap penalty in front of the posts, backed up by a successful conversion by stand-off Darragh Lyons putting them in the lead with 20 minutes on the clock. 3-7
At 28 minutes, number 8 Ross Weston, broke-off the back of the scrum and scored for Scotland with Wilson nudging them ahead. 10-7.
Within minutes of half time, Ireland successfully converted a penalty to equalise, before Lansdowne centre Mark Roche backed this up with an unconverted try on the whistle. 10-15
Half-time: Scotland Club XV 10-15 Ireland Club XV
A successful penalty early after the break by Wilson kept Scotland hot on the heels of Ireland, whose attack couldn’t break through the solid blue defence. 13-15
Irish flanker Paul Pritchard was sent to the sin bin for 10 minutes leaving Wilson to successfully kick another penalty, which put Scotland back in the lead with 63 minutes gone. 16-15
Ireland edged in front at 70 minutes with a penalty, slotted by Lyons, after Melrose full-back Fraser Thomson was yellow carded. 16-18
Minutes later Jason Hill made his brilliant break away and crossed the whitewash. Wilson capped it off with a fifth successful strike at the sticks to complete the scoring. 23-18
Full-time: Scotland Club XV 23-18 Ireland Club XV
RBS Man of the Match: Jason Hill
Scotland Club XV team: Fraser Thomson (Melrose); Craig Gossman (Ayr), Liam Steele (Heriot’s), Ross Curle (Ayr) CAPTAIN, Scott McLeod (Hawick); Stuart Edwards (Heriot’s), Graham Wilson (Heriot’s); Nick Beavon (Melrose), Russell Anderson (Gala), Struan Cessford (Heriot’s), Russell Nimmo (Heriot’s), Iain Moody (Boroughmuir), Jason Hill (Heriot’s), Ross Weston (Currie) and Will Bordill (Ayr).
Replacements: Fergus Scott (Ayr) [for Anderson, 56 mins], Ewan McQuillin (Melrose) [for Cessford, 50 mins], Shawn Muir, Peter Eccles (Melrose) [for Hill, 73 mins], Tommy Spinks (Glasgow Hawks) [for Weston, 64 mins], George Graham (Heriot’s) [for Wilson, 80 mins], Chris Auld (Gala) [for McLeod, 13 mins] and Gregor McNeish (Heriot’s).
Ireland Club XV team: Danny Riordan (Old Belvedere); Stephen O’Neill (Terenure), Mark Roche (Lansdowne), Matt D’Arcy (Clontarf), Ed O’Keefe (Young Munster); Darragh Lyons (Cork Constitution), Neil Cronin (Garryowen); Ian Prediville (Lansdowne), Andrew O’Driscoll (Cork Constitution), Declan Lavery (Old Belvedere), Stephen Gardner (Lansdowne), Fergal Walsh (Terenure), Stephen Mulholland (Ballymena), Jonathan Slattery (Old Belvedere) and Paul Pritchard (Ballynahinch).
Replacements: Eddie Rossiter (Garryowen) [for O’Driscoll, 58 mins], Ger Sweeney (Cork Constitution) [for Lavery, 15 mins), Peter O’Shea (Garryowen) [for Prediville, 68 mins], Sean Walsh (Cashel), Kieran O’Gorman (Old Belvedere) [for Slattery, 76 mins], Angus Lloyd (Dublin University) [for Cronin, 64 mins], Stephen Murphy (UCD) and Kevin McGrath (Skerries) [for O’Keefe, 64 mins].