Scotland U20 secure Old Glory DC victory
Scotland U20 took a positive step forward in their preparations for next month’s World Rugby U20 Championship as they comfortably defeated Old Glory DC 7-70 in a training match in Washington DC last night.
Played in front of a passionate 2,296-strong crowd at Catholic University’s Cardinal Stadium, the age-grade side proved too strong for Old Glory DC, who were playing only their second competitive match ahead of joining an expanded 12-team MLR competition from February next year.
It was the first meeting between the MLR side and Scottish opponents following the announcement in March that Scottish Rugby has taken a minority stake in the DC-based outfit, with plenty positives to take from the match-up ahead of next week’s opening World Rugby U20 Championship match against South Africa in Rosario (Tuesday 4 June, kick-off 2.30pm BST).
Scotland were able to field a number of different combinations in both the pack and backline, allowing Head Coach Carl Hogg to make the most of the 28-man squad at his disposal, while a strong defensive structure kept the American side at bay for much of the encounter.
The age-grade side opened the scoring after only five minutes as Heriot’s winger Jack Blain got on the end of a well-placed Ross Thompson chipped kick. It wasn’t long before the visitors doubled their tally with captain Connor Boyle picking and powering over from a short yardage scrum.
Boyle was shown a yellow card soon thereafter after taking out Old Glory DC’s full-back Nick Kuhl in the air and the hosts would soon make the most of their numerical advantage. Prop Dante Lopresti was the man who rumbled over following a series of darts at Scotland’s whitewash.
Scotland would soon get back on top, however, and following Tom Marshall’s brace of tries – with the Newcastle Falcons man making his first appearance for the age-grade side – Hawick’s Callum Renwick broke free from a lineout drive to dive over the line, making it 7-35 at the break.
Scotland would field a revamped XV in the second period and it wasn’t long until the replacements put the hosts under further pressure.
Jack Hill – who was this week called into the squad in the place of the injured Jack Mann – was able to charge down an attempted clearance kick before flopping over the whitewash.
Although Old Glory DC battled back into the encounter, Scotland’s patience up-front payed dividends. Prop Will Hurd showcased his strength with a dart at the line to grab his side’s seventh try of the evening.
Scotland would score further tries through centre Ollie Smith, winger Lomond McPherson and full-back Matt Davidson, bringing an end to a thrilling training match in America’s capital.
Scotland U20 begin their World Rugby U20 Championship campaign against South Africa U20 at Rosario’s Racecourse Stadium on Tuesday 4 June (kick-off 2.30pm BST) before facing New Zealand U20 at the same venue four days later (Saturday 8 June, kick-off 7.30pm BST).
The age-grade side then play Georgia U20 in their final pool stage fixture at Rosario’s Racecourse Stadium (Wednesday 12 June, kick-off 2.30pm BST) with all three group matches streamed live on world.rugby/u20
Old Glory DC: Kuhl; Sage, Forro, Kunkel, Malafu; Stapleton, Hartig; Williams, Katz, Lopresti, Oiyemhonlan, Barberi, Worth, Lopresti, Brown. Substitutes: Barelka, Jollie, Morris, McIlvee, Smith, Fletcher, Reid, Maitavuki, Pickett, Carroll, Maola.
Scotland U20: Davidson; Blain, Anderson, Hughes, McMichael; Thompson, Frostwick; Walker, Renwick, McLaren, Johnson, Henderson, Hill, Boyle CAPTAIN, Marshall. Substitutes: Wilson, Nimmo, Hurd, Bundy, Hill, Leatherbarrow, Scott, Chamberlain, McCallum, McPherson, Smith.