Scotland under-18 unable to complete Irish double

Scotland under-18 suffered a 21-12 loss at the hands of a physical Ireland under-18 outfit, in Rugby Europe’s Elite Division tournament seventh place playoff.

Robbie Nairn

The sides met a fortnight ago at Mayfield, Dundee, when the Dark Blues came out on top with a 21-13 victory. However errors proved costly for Scotland on this occassion, as they were unable to repeat the feat in the Rugby Europe tournament finale.

Head Coach, Eddie Pollock, said:

“We gave away too many unnecessary penalties throughout the game, and made a number of unforced errors when we weren’t under pressure.

“There were opportunities for us to win the game, yet, unfortunately, we didn’t execute when we had to.

“It’s part of the learning that at international level, you can’t afford to commit errors and need tocovert chances when they come your way.”

Ireland were first to post points on the scoreboard with a penalty goal in the sixth minute from the boot of stand-off Bill Johnston.

Scotland retaliated just two minutes later as prop George Thornton crossed the whitewash, following a neat and well-worked driving lineout move, to take his side ahead. The successful conversion from stand-off Gregor Haldane, opened up a four point gap in favour of the Dark Blues (7-3).

The opposition regained their lead around the fifteen minute mark with a converted try – Jack Kelly the scorer with Johnston adding the extras – and soon followed this up with their second penalty of the day, taking the score to 7-13 after 19 minutes.

A try from wing Ross McCann on the stroke of half-time, left Scotland only one point in the shadow of their opposition as the teams went into the break.

Half time: Scotland under-18 12 v 13 Ireland under-18

However, despite dominating possession for the majority of the second period, Scotland were unable to capitalise on any of their chances, with their high error-count proving decisive in dictating the outcome of the game.   

A further Johnston penalty in the 52nd minute extended Ireland’s lead, before they closed the game out with their second try, three minutes from the final whistle, from full-back Colm Hogan.

Full time: Scotland under-18 (12) 12 v 21 (13) Ireland under-18

Scotland under-18: 15 Saul Melvin-Farr (Edinburgh Academy/Edinburgh Academicals)*; 14 Ross McCann (Royal High School/RHC Cougars)*, 13 Craig Pringle (Loretto School/Melrose)* 12 Grant Huggan (Hawick Wanderers), 11 Robbie Nairn (George Watson’s College/Currie); 10 Gregor Haldane (Stowe School/Northampton Saints), 9   Charlie Shiel (Royal High School/RHC Cougars)*; 1 George Thornton (Moulton College/Market Harborough), 2 Jack Solman (Sedbergh School), 3 Adam Nicol (Queen Anne High School/Dunfermline), 4 Alexander Craig (Hartpury College/Glucester), 5 Callum Hunter-Hill (Stewart’s Melville)*, 6 Matthew Fagerson (Strathallan School), 7 Michael Dewar (Abingdon School/Wasps), 8 Bruce Flockhart (Strathallan School/Highland) Replacements: 16 Fraser Renwick (Hawick High School/Hawick Wanderers), 17 Fergus Bradbury (Merchiston Castle School), 18 Blair Robertson (Kelso Harlequins), 19 Hamish Bain (George Watson’s College/Currie), 20 Luke Crosbie (Currie), 21 Andrew Simmers (Glasgow Academy/Glasgow Hawks)*, 22 Blair Kinghorn (Edinburgh Academy/Edinburgh Academicals)*, 23 Alastair Greig (Stewart’s Melville College/Stewart’s Melville FP), 24 Darcy Graham (Hawick High School/Hawick Wanderers), 25 Connor Eastgate (Henley College/Wasps), 26 Thomas Gordon (Currie).