Second-half swing sees West U20 win in style
West U20 scored 47 points in the second-half to overturn a 12-point deficit and win yesterday’s age-grade clash against their East of Scotland counterparts at Oriam (26-61).
A closely-fought first-half saw the teams scoreless for the opening quarter before five scores began to rain in the second 20, East U20 leading at the break courtesy of three tries to West’s two (19-14).
The second-half began in a similar close-fought fashion, with East adding a converted try to create some breathing space (26-14), however it was from there that the floodgates opened, with West U20 running in seven tries in response (26-61).
After battling it out for much of the match in the middle section of the pitch, it was right on the 20-minute mark that Hawick back-row Guy Graham broke the deadlock for East U20 when he ran on to a zipped short ball, wide on the right, to cross the whitewash.
The score certainly loosened up the game with West quick to respond through Ayr RFC front-row duo captain Robbie Smith [pictured right] and tighthead prop Euan McLaren, the latter showing great power to bump, barge and bolt in from the 22.
With the second score converted by the impeccable boot of Currie Chieftans’ full-back Glen Faulds, West had taken the initiative with seven minutes left in the half (5-12), although it was not to stay that way for long.
East U20 responded in fine fashion with Edinburgh Accies’ tighthead Finlay Richardson capitalising on a great break from Graham to score, before replacement hooker Conal Howard (Melrose) piled over from the back of a lineout maul.
Hawick’s Kyle Brunton converted both scores to give his men a 19-14 lead.
Half-time: East U29 (19-14) West U20
East U20 got the start to the second-half they were looking for when replacement back Gary Munro (Hawick) came in on a lovely angle to race in and over the line before Brunton added the extras (26-14).
From then, however, the game became a different beast altogether, as West U20 battled back in impressive fashion.
A few minutes after conceding, West outside-centre Sam Yawayawa (Glasgow Hawks) showed lovely footwork and snake-like hips to weave his way through the East defence and strike back for the men in yellow.
Faulds converted and it was a five-point game (26-21).
From there the traffic was very much one-way from a scoring perspective, when Stirling County's man-of-the-match winning wing Kyle Rowe [pictured right] raced on to a wayward pass in midfield to intercept and score his first of three second-half tries.
With Faulds converting and East U20 picking up a yellow card, the momentum had well and truly swung (26-33).
Replacement forward Dan York (Glasgow Hawks) and replacement back Donald Kennedy (Watsonians) added more woe before the second-half rout was sealed by the hat-trick completing brace of Rowe, with Faulds’ ruthless boot bisecting the post with six from seven attempts in the second 40.
Full-time: East U20 (24-61) West U20
East U20: 15. Adam Hall* (Melrose); 14. Lomond MacPherson (Watsonians), 13. Patrick Anderson* (Melrose), 12 Robbie Yourston (Jed Forest), 11. Jack Blain* (Stewart’s Melville / Stewarts Melville College); 10. Ross Thomson* (Glasgow Hawks), 9. Ruaridh Swan (Stirling County); 1. Finn Hobbis* (Watsonians), 2. Josh MacKay (Selkirk), 3. Finlay Richardson (Edinburgh Accies), 4. Will Inglis (Stewart’s Melville), 5. Charlie Jupp (Heriot’s), 6. Guy Graham (Hawick), 7. James Miller* (Watsonians), 8. Archie Erskine** CAPTAIN (Boroughmuir). Substitutes: 16. Conal Howard (Melrose), 17. Ross Dunbar** (Boroughmuir), 18. Cole Imrie (Edinburgh Accies), 19. Ruiari Campbell (Melrose), 20. Jack Mann (Edinburgh Accies), 21. Andrew Horne (Hawick), 22. Gary Munro** (Hawick), 23. Kyle Brunton (Hawick), 24. Cameron Symes (Glasgow University / Stewart’s Melville), 25. Ben Renton (Boroughmuir).
West U20: 15. Glen Faulds (Currie Chieftans), 14. Logan Trotter* (Stirling County), 13. Sam Yawayawa* (Glasgow Hawks), 12. Mark New* (Glasgow Hawks), 11. Kyle Rowe (Glasgow Hawks); 10. Ben Morrice (Bath University), 9. Harry Warr (Ayr); 1 Andrew Nimmo* (Biggar), 2. Robbie Smith* (Ayr), 3. Euan McLaren* (Ayr), 4. Martin Hughes (Heriot’s), 5. Adam Kerr (GFA), 6. Ross Jackson* (Marr), 7. Wallace Nelson (Stirling County), 8. Jack McLean (Glasgow Accies). Substitutes: 16. Paul Cairncross* (Glasgow Hawks), 17. Ewan Rintoul (Glasgow Hawks), 18. Dan York* (Glasgow Hawks), 19. Andrew Jardine* (Melrose), 20. Andrew McColm (Carrick), 21. Ross Bundy (Stirling County), 22. Gregor Paxton (Marr), 23. Donald Kennedy (Watsonians).
BT SPORT ACADEMY FIXTURES
Sunday 15 October at Kings Park, Aberdeen
West U16 (22-19) East U16
West U18 (12-41) East U18
Wednesday 18 October (U19)
Edinburgh 5-10 Caledonia
Glasgow & the West 17-21 Borders & East Lothian
Edinburgh 30-19 Glasgow & the West
Caledonia 19-14 Borders & East Lothian
Edinburgh 27-26 Borders & East Lothian
Caledonia 34-10 Glasgow & the West
Sunday 22 October at Inverleith, Edinburgh
East U16 (40-24) West U16
East U18 (34-14) West U18
Sunday 26 November at Oriam, Edinburgh
East U20 26-61 West U20