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Young Scots deserved more against England, but must build on the positives

 

Scotland under-20 17 England under-20 21

Scotland under-20s took their second losing bonus point of this year’s Six Nations on Friday night after a 21-17 loss to England at Myreside in Edinburgh, but they will see this as a chance missed.

Two years ago when the age-grade Scots defeated their English counterparts on the same ground led by Steve Scott and Robbie Smith the victory was based on grunt and forward power.

They had that in abundance this time too, SQ loosehead prop Thomas Lambert from Sydney University certainly one to watch going forward while hooker Ewan Ashman and second-rows Kieran Watt and Cameron Henderson put in a power of work.

However, this performance also showed a lot of ingenuity in attack by the backline, stand-off Nathan Chamberlain having a good game and winger Jacob Henry coming off his touchline into the midfield at times to good effect.

There were two key moments in this game.

In the 57th minute the Scots were awarded a penalty try and England second-row Ben Donnell was yellow carded.

The hosts were 17-14 up at that point and, could they have added to their tally while he visitors were down to 14, they would have gone on to win this one.

To their credit the sin-binning seemed to galvanise England, but the Scots needed to go for the jugular.

The second key moment came in the last 10 minutes when there seemed to be a clear forward pass out wide, but neither the referee or his assistant gave it and, a couple of phases later, centre Connor Doherty ran a god line to score a converted try and give England two wins from two in the tournament.

The Scots – who had trailed 14-10 at the break and scored their other points over and above the penalty try through an Ashman try and five points from the boot of Chamberlain – now have losing bonus points from Ireland and this one.

They will have to dust themselves down ahead of a trip to Italy later this month, but this group of players certainly have it in them to win games in this year’s Six Nations.

Head coach Sean Lineen said:  “I’m so proud of the boys and the way they got stuck in, both in attack and defence, but like the game against Ireland last week, we paid a price for a just a few lapses which were punished by their classy players and left us too much of a mountain to climb.

“I can’t emphasise enough that the effort all of them put in. They never gave up and we blooded a lot of under-19s players out there as well. We just ran out of puff at the end.

“I suppose it evens out for both teams over the course of the whole game [in relation to the potential forward pass].

“I’m too long in the tooth now to be worrying about the ref. That’s not the reason we lost. There was a couple of basic errors when we knew where they [England] would be coming and we didn’t defend them well enough.”

https://twitter.com/Scotlandteam/status/1225902625834573824

Scotland scorers: Tries: Ashman, Penalty try. Pen: Chamberlain. Con: Chamberlain.

Scotland:

15 Ollie Smith (Ayrshire Bulls)

14 Harry Paterson (Heriot’s Rugby)

13 Matthew Currie (Watsonians Rugby)

12 Robbie McCallum (Boroughmuir Bears)

11 Jacob Henry (Southern Knights)

10 Nathan Chamberlain (Hartpury College/Bristol Bears)

9 Roan Frostwick (Watsonians Rugby)

1 Thomas Lambert (Sydney University)

2 Ewan Ashman (Sale Sharks)

3 Mak Wilson (Southern Knights)

4 Kieran Watt (Watsonians Rugby)

5 Cameron Henderson (Stirling County)

6 Jack Hill (Durham University)

7 Connor Boyle (Watsonians Rugby)

8 Rory Darge (Southern Knights, C)

Replacements: 

16 Rory Jackson (Watsonians Rugby)

17 George Breese (Stirling Wolves)

18 Alex Maxwell (Stourbridge)

19 Jamie Campbell (Biggar)

20 Gregor Brown (Boroughmuir Bears)

21 Kyle McGhie (Boroughmuir Bears)

22 Cameron Scott (Boroughmuir Bears)

23 Max Preistly (Glasgow Hawks)

Next up for Scotland under-20s are Italy away on Friday, February 21 at 6pm GMT

Thanks to David Gibson/FOTOSPORT for the photo

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