England U20s V Scotland U20s
Scotland under-20 failed to make up the 26-6 half-time deficit to overcome Six Nations table-toppers England, despite a gritty second-half performance in which they were the only team to record any points through a Ben Robbins try.
The opening twenty minutes saw Scotland scrum-half, George Horne, and England stand-off, Rory Jennings, do battle with the boot, the former knocking over two and the latter successfully kicking three penalties. (9-6)
The scoreboard remained dormant for a ten-minute period, with both teams making unsuccessful attempts to cross one another’s line.
England broke the deadlock to score the first try of the game just after the half-hour mark through scrum-half, James Mitchell, with Jennings’ successful conversion taking the score to 16-9.
Mitchell’s effort seemed to inspire his side in the closing ten minutes of the period as they went on to score a further two, stretching the gap to 26-6, prior to the referee’s whistle sounding for half-time.
Half time: England 26 v 6 Scotland
Despite the deficit, Scotland displayed a real determination and fight to show that they were still in the game, launching a number of attacks on the English line in the opening ten minutes of the half.
London Scottish wing, Alec Coombes, was the first to come close for Scotland. Under the cosh, the away side launched a promising attack from close to their line, with Coombes being closed down by the cover defence just ten metres out at the other end.
Magnus Bradbury was next to have a crack, in the 50th minute, and was unfortunate not to score.
The number eight powered through a number of English defenders to cross the whitewash yet, after a long consultation with the TMO, the referee deemed the Edinburgh Rugby back-row to be in touch prior to the grounding of the ball.
However, the patience shown by Scotland was soon rewarded as Ben Robbins scampered in to score on the right wing.
The initial break from substitute hooker Ross Graham, with a second snipe from stand-off Rory Hutchinson, opened up the space out wide which Scotland exploited, displaying delicate hands, to allow the wing to score his second try in as many games in the Thistle emblazoned shirt.
Horne failed to add the extras with the difficult conversion attempt. (26-11)
The dark blue jerseys, with their backs up, continued to impose themselves on the home side’s line for the final quarter yet, despite dominating possession, couldn’t quite get over the whitewash to score again.
Full-time: England 26 - 11 Scotland
Scotland under-20 Head Coach, Sean Lineen, said: “It was a tough start, with a few set-piece errors letting us down, but I’m proud of the second-half as we really worked hard for each other.
“The guys will be tired after that game – it was tough for the full 80 minutes and our boys gave it everything.
“They [England] had some real quality players that posed a challenge, but we never gave up and scored a cracking try in the second-half.
“It’s all part of that learning curve, and, maybe, we just gave them a bit too much respect early on this time around.”