Scotland U20 v England U20

After soaking up early pressure, a well placed kick from Duncan Munn in the thirteenth minute put England under duress on their own line, and they conceded the penalty. A buoyant Scotland tapped and went and Ollie Leatherbarrow forced his way over for the opening score of the night.

The young Scots continued to show their strength, and were soon up to England’s try line once again from a driving maul. Winning another penalty, Scotland opted for the tap again, but this time England were able to hold the ball up over the line and kicked the ball clear from the goalline dropout.

But quick thinking from Robin McClintock saw the full-back take a stab at a drop kick at goal, which cannoned back off the post.

Another chance for points soon followed from a quick lineout, but Christian Townsend couldn’t hold on to the ball.

Just when it seemed the action might settle, England passed it wide from the resulting scrum and Henry Arundell showed incredible pace to run the length of the field and score in the corner.

But Scotland were not rocked by England’s equalising against the run of play. They battered at the England line and in the twenty-ninth minute Leatherbarrow looked to have made his way over the line for a second time.

However, after a long TMO review, it was deemed that England’s Kofi Cripps had stopped him short, and Scotland were instead awarded a 5 metre scrum. Time for a second attempt, and this time Scotland were rewarded. England were unable to stop the young Exeter University student as he picked the ball from the base of the scrum and the dived over the line. Townsend bookended the try with a successful conversion.

In the final ten minutes, England struggled for possession but were finding holes in the Scottish defence out wide. In the thirty-sixth minute Ethan Grayson made significant ground after breaking a tackle, and Scotland were forced to give away a penalty. England kicked for the corner and their driving maul lead to a try from Toby Knight.

Ahead of half-time Scotland made their their first substitutions of the night with Michael Jones replacing Tom Banatvala.

Half time: Scotland 12 - 10 England

Just two minutes after the break, a misplaced pass from England inside Scotland’s half gave Ross McKnight the chance to stretch his legs, with the winger nearly making it to the try line before being taken down by Arundell.

With England’s try line in touching distance, Scotland continued to put the visitors under to cosh, and Ollie Melville picked up the ball from the bottom of the ruck and wrestled his way over the line.

Ever determined, England pushed back and in the fifth minute Scotland were penalised in front of their posts for not rolling away and the visitors took the opportunity to reduce their arrears by three.

Some four minutes later England then took the lead. Arundell’s lightning pace was shown again as he burst clear from inside his own half. He passed in-field to Tom Carr-Smith, who dotted down.

Scotland were begining to show signs of fatigue and after three penalties in quick succession, Olujare Oguntibeju was placed in the sin bin. A man down in defence, it wasn’t before long that England could capitalise and Toby Knight crossed from short range for his second of the night.

Within a minute of Knight’s try, England were back in for another. Fresh-legged George Hendy clear up the left and passed infield to Grayson, who scored his first try.

A relentless game continued but Scotland looked like they had found a second wind. Max Williamson found acres of space in midfield, and quick reactions from Duncan Munn found him nudging a loose ball down the pitch, diving on it over the line. It looked to be good, however the TMO adjudged that Max Williamson had knocked it on.

England found another score in the 76th minute. A big push at the scrum won the visitors the ball back, and within a couple of phases Tom Litchfield broke a tackle and made his way to the line.

Scotland fought hard until the very end, and were rewarded with a bonus point try when Gregor Hiddleston bundled over at the back of a rolling maul with the last play of the game. A conversion from Christian Townsend closed the game.

Full time score: Scotland 24 - 41 England

Referee: Benoit Rousselet, AR1: Aurelie Groiseleau, AR2: Luc Ramos, No.4: Hollie Davidson, No.5: Jonny Perriam, TMO: Eric Gauzins

Player of the match: Henry Arundell

Attendance: 3,072

Scotland: 15. Robin Mc Clintock 14. Ross McKnight 13. Duncan Munn 12. Michael Gray 11. Ollie Melville 10. Christian Townsend 9. Jed Gelderbloom 1. Tom Banatvala 2. Patrick Harrison 3. Gregor Scougall 4. Josh Taylor 5. Max Williamson 6. Matthew Deehan 7. Rhys Tait CAPTAIN 8. Ollie Leatherbarrow

Replacements 16. Gregor Hiddleston 17. Michael Jones 18. Callum Norrie 19. Jake Spurway

20. Olujare Oguntibeju 21. Sinjin Broad 22. Euan Cunningham 23. Ben Evans

England: 15. Henry Arundell 14. Deago Bailey 13. Tom Litchfield 12. Ethan Grayson 11. Ollie Dawkins 10. Louie Johnson 9. Tom Carr-Smith 1. Mark Dormer 2. John Stewart 3. Mikey Summerfield 4. Alfie Bell 5. Tom Lockett 6. Alex Wardell 7. Kofi Cripps 8. Toby Knight CAPTAIN

Replacements 16. Jasper Spandler 17. Will Hobson 18. Robin Hardwick 19. Charlie 20. Greg Fisilau 21. Matty Jones 22. Jamie Benson 23. George Hendy

live commentary 8:00 PM Friday 4 Feb 2022

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