MATCH REPORT | England U18 v Scotland U18
Scotland U18 were defeated by a physical English outfit at Billingham on Sunday (17 March), despite a spirited first-half performance (36-21).
In what was a close affair in the first-half, Scotland displayed some promising attacks and were only seven points adrift going into the interval following two converted tries.
England were able to command control in possession and territory in the second period and were soon able to open a gap on the scoreboard towards the end of the game.
It was the hosts who opened the scoring as scrum-half Jack Van Poortvliet darted under the posts, with Tom Curtis adding the extras (7-0).
The Scots were able to hit back following a period of sustained pressure, as Dan Gamble clambered over the line to score, with Nathan Sweeney capping it off with a successful conversion (7-7).
The visitors were given another opportunity to add to the scoreboard, but Sweeney’s penalty attempt drifted wide from the target.
England grabbed their second score through Curtis, to which the stand-off duly converted (14-7).
The score was brought back to a level when captain Jamie Dobie sprinted over the whitewash, with Sweeney adding the extras (14-14).
Hooker Sam Riley trotted in on the stroke of half-time to bring England into the lead once again (21-14).
HALF-TIME: England U18 21-14 Scotland U18
Following the interval, England were back on the scoreboard when Tom Roebuck powered over the line for the side’s fourth try (26-14).
Scotland’s response was prompt, however, as Matthew Currie burst through the midfield in a scintillating solo effort to score, with Sweeney hitting target with the conversion (26-21).
In the closing quarter, England began to
assert their dominance as two successive tries from Joe Browning and Roebuck
was enough to seal victory for the hosts.
FULL-TIME: England U18 36-21 Scotland U18
Following Sunday’s fixture, Scotland travel down to England in April for the U18 Six Nations Festival, which will see the squad face Italy (Saturday 13 March), Wales (Wednesday 17 April) and Ireland (Sunday 21 April).
Scotland U18: Nathan Sweeney* (Lorretto School); Harry Paterson (Fettes College), Matthew Currie* (Merchiston Castle School), Scott King* (Heriot’s), Finlay Callaghan (Hillhead Jordanhill); Cameron Scott* (George Watson’s College), Jamie Dobie* CAPTAIN (Merchiston Castle School); Ben Mace (Stirling County), Scott Clelland (Ayr), Dan Gamble* (Merchiston Castle School), Alex Samuel* (Madras / St Leonards / Madras Rugby), Struan Whittaker* (Edinburgh Accies), Gregor Brown (Robert Gordon’s College), Eck Allan (Preston Lodge / North Berwick High School), Ben Muncaster (Rugby School / Leicester Tigers)
Replacements: James Johnstone (Preston Lodge / Preston Lodge High School), Jamie Drummond (Marr), Cole Lamberton (The Royal High School), Rory Jackson (Kelvinside Academy), Josh King* (Queen Victoria School / Stirling County), Harri Morris (George Watson’s College), Rhys Tait (Sedburgh School) Cameron Scott* (Preston Lodge / Preston Lodge High School), Tom Jones (Bristol Bears / SGS Filton), Alex Harley (George Watson’s College), Cameron Furley (Saracens)
England U18: George Worboys; Joe Browning, Louis Hillman-Copper, Phil Cokanasiga, Tom Roebuck; Tom Curtis, Jack Van Poortvliet; Harry Fry, Sam Riley, Jenson Boughton, George Martin CAPTAIN, Archie Benson, Josh Gray, Xavier Hastings, Nahum Merigan
Replacements: John Stewart, Luke Green, Fin Baxter, Ewan Richards, Will Trenholm, Raphael Quirke, Orlando Bailey, Jude Williams.