Young Scots make history with Argentina victory

Scotland recorded their first victory over Argentina at under-20 level in five attempts, as they secured a convincing 29-6 win over the South American side in the final pool game of the World Rugby Under-20 Championships in Calvisano.

Robbie Nairn touches down for a score

A trio of second half tries from the Dark Blues, including an exhilarating length of the field team effort finished off by Robbie Nairn, closed out the game after a tightly contested first half. 

The win meant that the Dark Blues finish third in Pool C of the competition, perched above their Latin counterparts on five points.

At the conclusion of the pool stages, Scotland under-20 seeded eighth, and now enter the 5th-8th place play-offs. 

This is the first time that the young Scots have managed to seed higher than ninth, and guarantees them their highest ever finish in the competition. 

First up in the play-off stages, Scotland will face Australia on Monday 15 June (kick-off 3.30pm GMT), and will either face Ireland or Wales in their final tie, depending on results. 

Scotland under-20 captain, Magnus Bradbury, said: “All credit to our boys, we did really well to control in the manner we did.

“We were pushing for the bonus point try, but , outwith that, we really turned up in the second half, as opposed to previous games when we maybe fell off. 

“To keep going the way we did, it was really good to see and be a part of.”

Scotland looked hungrier than their South American opposition, and played the better rugby of the two sides from the offset.

Full-back Blair Kinghorn looked cool under pressure and bagged three penalties to give Scotland a 9-0 lead after 20 minutes.

Argentina fought their way back into the tie, with only a monstrous hit from Scotland wing Richard Galloway and brave scramble defence from stand-off Rory Huthinson, putting an end to two very dangerous  attacks. 

Argentina weren’t to go into the break empty handed as stand-off Domingo Miotti slotted two penalties of his own to close the gap to three points (9-6). 

Kinghorn was unlucky not to close out the half with his fourth penalty of the day, as his attempt on the brink of half-time glazed across the face of goal. 

Half-time: Scotland under-20 9 v 6 Argentina under-20 

Making up for his earlier misdemeanour, Kinghorn slotted a penalty goal in the opening minute of the second half to keep his team’s points tally ticking over.

Only two minutes later, and against the run of play, Scotland scored a fantastic length of the field score to build on the momentum of Kinghorn’s goal kicking. 

Hutchinson pounced on a loose Argentina pass and took the initiative to launch a counter attack, linking up with centre Patrick Kelly and, finally, Robbie Nairn who used his sheer strength and speed to cruise over the whitewash – Kinghorn adding the extras (19-6).

Nairn’s score seemed to inspire his fellow wing, Richard Galloway, who was next on the scoresheet, again only two minutes after his colleague.  Scotland cranked up the pressure on an Argentina scrum to win it against the head, before some slick hands from the backs found the pace merchant who cruised over for the try (24-6).

 A fifteen minute scoring lull followed, with both teams showing signs of fatigue in the baking Italian sun.

The period of calm was ended in the 68th minute when the Dark Blues opted to go for touch from a penalty, before referring to their signature lineout drive to cross for their third and final score of the day – Lewis Wynne taking the credit (29-6).

Scotland continued to chase the bonus point, yet were unable to cross the line for a fourth score before the game was brought to a close.

Full-time: Scotland under-20 29 v 6 Argetina under-20

Scotland v Argentina in the World Rugby Under-20 Championship at Stadio San Michele, Calvisano.

Scotland under-20 team: Blair Kinghorn; Robbie Nairn, Alec Coombes, Patrick Kelly, Richard Galloway; Rory Hutchinson, Ben Vellacott; Murray McCallum, Sam James, Zander Fagerson, Scott Cummings, Neil Irvine-Hess, Ally Miller, Lewis Wynne and Magnus Bradbury CAPTAIN.

Replacements: Ross Graham, Dan Elkington, Jack Owlett, Andrew Davidson, Ruaridh Knott, George Horne, Ruaraidh Smith and Jamie Ritchie.

Argentina under-20: Matias Ferro; Tomas Granella, Emiliano Boffelli, Bautista Ezcurra CAPTAIN. Juan Cruz Mallia; Domingo Miotti, Patricio Baronio; Jaview Diaz, Ignacio Calles, Cristian Bartoloni, Ignacio Calas, Enzo Ocampo, Jose Deheza, Ernesto Olmedo and Santiago Portillo. 

Replacements: Gaspar Baldunciel, Nicolas Ocello, Santiago Medrano, Ignacio Larrague, Vittorio Rosti, Lucas Gasparri, Lautaro Bazan Velez and Santiago Resino.