Lineen: We'll get better as a team and as individuals

Scotland U20 Head Coach, Sean Lineen, has lauded his group’s first-half effort in the loss to France and feels the experience the group has garnered from the Test will act as a platform for improvement going forth.

Despite an impressive showing for large periods of the game, Lineen’s side went down 36-8 to their French counterparts, who crossed the whitewash on three occasions in the final 15 minutes of the match. 

The former Scotland internationalist felt that a few basic errors and an inability to be clinical proved the difference between the sides.

He said: “It was a good first-half for us – 10-3 away from home against France.

“The forward pack were outstanding, especially at scrum-time where we hit them hard, and I think we managed to get into their 22 [metre] on a dozen of occasions but we just couldn’t convert.

“We tried a couple of different things, but couldn’t get over the line.

“We made a number of basic errors under a little bit of pressure and let them off the hook– it’s the second week that has happened.”

He added: “The game was a massive learning for this group.

“There’s some real positives to take out of that performance and again we created a lot of chances and I’m really happy with the forward pack.

“Everyone gave it their everything, but we’ve got to look at getting across the whitewash.

“At times our defence was good and at others we were very narrow, which cost us against the French who are heads-up players and had the ability to pick us off.”

Lineen’s charges will now have a fallow week before hosting their Welsh counterparts at Broadwood Stadium on Friday 24 February (kick-off 8.30pm).

The Head Coach was keen to acknowledge the ‘step-up’ from club to international age-grade rugby and feels that the experience the players have harvested in the opening rounds will serve the group well as they prepare to face Wales in a fortnight’s time.

He continued: “This is a new group of players, and they’re all learning very quickly.

“For a lot of guys, this was there first experience in-front of a big crowd – a loud support of over 15,000 – and that’s a massive step-up for our group.

“We’re working hard to get them up to speed and they will get better as a team and as individuals. We’ve just got to keep building and it will come.”