Scotland end campaign with defeat to England
Head coach Ally Donaldson made wholesale changes to his side for their final game of the U18 International Series in Wales and despite a spirited second-half comeback they ended their campaign with a defeat.The Scots faced an England side who had beaten Ireland U18s 15-12 in their opening match of the tournament and it was England who got off to a flying start in Ystrad Mynach.A converted try after nine minutes put England in front and they got a second through centre Oli Morris, which was once again converted by Jacob Umaga to make it 14-0 to England.From the re-start England scored a third try, but this time Umaga missed the conversion.Scotland got their first points of the game from the boot of Ben Appleson and his penalty made the score 19-3 to England.After almost 30 minutes of play England scored their fourth try of the match through full-back Gabriel Ibitoye, which was converted by stand-off Umaga to give them a 26-3 lead.England's number 8 Thomas Dodd scored under the posts and Umaga converted to make it 33-3 with half-time approaching.In the second-half England continued to dominate and scored their sixth try of the game to lead 38-3.However, Scotland continued to press and got their reward when captain Cameron Hutchison went over for Scotland's first try of the match which Appleson converted to reduce England's advantage to 38-10.Scotland continued their comeback and got a second try less than 10 minutes later. Following a great break by Harry Warr, the replacement scored under the posts and the try was converted by Appleson to make it 38-17.England hit back to put the game beyond Scotland with their seventh try of the match and the conversion made it 45-17 to England under-18s.As the end of the game approached Scotland went over for their third try through Callum Cruikshank, which was converted by Appleson, but in the end England had done enough to win the contest 45-24.Speaking to scottishrugby.org, head coach Ally Donaldson said: A lot of players have put their hands up to move on further in the game in Scotland and they will all be a lot better for this experience.It's the biggest learning experience these guys will have ever had. To play three games at that level, with such a short turnaround is hard going.We scored three tries today and could possibly have scored one or two more. The effort from the boys was outstanding and we ended up winning the second-half.They have been an outstanding group to work with and have improved since we started working with them a few months ago and they can all be proud of their efforts.Scotland U18 starting XV: 15. Stafford McDowall, 14. Rory McMichael, 13. Fraser Dingwall, 12. Cameron Hutchison, 11. Ben Appleson, 10. Grant Hughes, 9. Charlie Gowling, 1. Ross Dunbar, 2. Paul Cairncross, 3. Euan McLaren, 4. Archie Erskine, 5. Ruairi Campbell, 6. Andrew Horne, 7. Callum Cruikshank 8. Dan Marek.