Scotland U20 vs England U20, Fri, 23/02/2018 - 19:30

Scotland U20
24 - 17
Full time
England U20
Friday, 23 February, 2018 - 19:30 | Myreside

Scotland produced a magnificent second-half performance, scoring 17 unanswered points, to record a famous victory over England in this evening U20 Six Nations clash at Myreside.

In a match which had it all – electric breaks; last-ditch tackles; pin-point kicking, and even a few scraps – Scotland showcased a level of intensity and desire, which ultimately brought them a deserved win; their first in this year’s championship.

Despite being down ten-points at half-time, after England scored two quick fire tries to end the first period, Scotland continued to believe and when prop-forward Finlay Richardson scampered over for two second-half tries, the match was turned on its head.

“I’m very, very proud of the boys,” said Head Coach Stevie Scott. “For us to go and get heavily beat by France and then the response we got from boys, against 23 full-time players, says a lot about the drive and desire to do well in a Scotland jersey.

“We’ve been working hard all week on what it means to play against England. On how it’s a different game to the other Six Nations fixtures and how it has a different spice to it – so we really tried to get hold of that emotion all week. We were outstanding this evening.”

Although England were the slicker of the two sides in a first-half dominated by back-line breaks and deft kicking from the visitor’s stand-off Tom Hardwick, Scotland rallied to produce a stunning second-half showing.

“We had to unsettle them, and play on the edge of the game,” said Scott. “And I thought we did that all night. We really worked on the maul, and that was outstanding this evening. It was really pleasing to see.

“When they scored two tries just before half-time, the heads could’ve gone down, but there was a bit of belief there this evening and the boys kept going.

“They stuck to the game plan. We squeezed them tight, kicked to the corner and fronted up. I thought Ross Thompson did an excellent job of controlling that.

“It’s one game, and we need to make sure we don’t get carried away, but the boys deserve to be happy after a performance like that.”

Although Scotland had carried courageously in the opening stages of the contest, it was England who took the lead after a period of sustained pressure.

Hardwick would nudge over a simple three-pointer to grab the early impetus, but Scotland would soon hit back with a well-worked score of their own.

After stealing the ball amidst the breakdown, the age-grade side eventually worked the ball within to inches of the England try-line. With numbers lining up outside, Ewan Johnson chose to ignore support and with swift pick-up the second-row dived over from short distance.

With Ross Thompson nailing the conversion, Scotland held a 7-3 lead.

England would miss a kick at goal shortly after Johnson’s try, but the visitors – who on more than one occasion cut open Scotland’s drifting back-line defence – soon displayed some real attacking quality.

With centre Ollie Lawrence bursting through a gap in midfield, and galloping 30 metres into Scotland territory, the ball eventually broke to Hardwick who dived in the corner.

It was to get better for the visitors only minutes later. Again, their smooth backline were the catalyst behind the score as Hardwick hit a sweet cross-field kick perfectly into the reach of Tom Seabrook, who graciously collected before flopping over the whitewash.

At the half, England led 17-7.

Scotland – who’s heads had never dropped in the first-half, despite succumbing to two rapid scores – started the second-half with raised intensity, however, and when Kyle Rowe was tackled late off the ball – causing Jordan Olowofela to be sent to the bin – they were soon back in the game.

As Thompson nailed a kick to the corner, Scotland gathered before powerfully mauling their way over the whitewash. Prop Finlay Richardson was the man at the bottom of the pile, and Scotland were right back in the match.

With their tails up, Stevie Scott’s side were all over the park. Each England attack was met by a wall of blue, and with a man advantage, they soon made England pay even further.

As Scotland once again kicked to the corner, a swift rolling maul soon gathered pace and when England attempted to drag it down the referee had no other option to award the penalty try – giving Scotland a 19-17 lead heading into the final ten minutes.

With the crowd behind them, Scotland kept England pinned in their own half. And when the visitors overthrew a lineout deep inside their own twenty-two, Finlay Richardson was there to dash over the line, sparking wild celebrations. 

Team lineups

Scotland U20
England U20

Backs

15 Jordan Olowofela
14 Tom Seabrook
13 Ollie Lawrence
12 Will Butler
11 Cadan Murley
10 Tom Hardwick
9 Rory Brand

Forwards

1 Alex Seville
2 Gabriel Oghre
3 Ehren Painter
4 Ted Hill
5 Sam Lewis
6 Josh Basham
7 Aaron Hinkley
8 Sam Moore

Substitutes

16
17
18 Murphy Walker
19 Marshall Sykes
20 Rory Darge
21
22 Fraser Strachan
23

Substitutes

16 Beck Cutting
17 Toby Trinder
18 Joe Heyes
19 James Scott
20 Sean Reffell
21 Ben White
22 Ben White
23 Fraser Dingwall

U20 6 Nations Championship 2018 table

PosTeamPWLDPts
1Wales U2011002
2Scotland U20 10100
3Ireland U2000000
4France U2000000
5England U2000000
6Italy U2000000

U20 6 Nations Championship 2018 latest results

Italy U20 45 v 31 Scotland U20
Scotland U20 24 v 17 England U20
Scotland U20 19 v 69 France U20
Wales U20 36 v 3 Scotland U20