Late try secures consolation bonus point for Scotland U20s versus Ireland

Replacement stand-off Cameron Scott touches down in the fifth minute of injury time as Sean Lineen's men show fighting spirit

Hooker Ewan Ashman scored the first of Scotland Under-20s' four tries against Ireland. Image: Fotosport/David Gibson
Hooker Ewan Ashman scored the first of Scotland Under-20s' four tries against Ireland. Image: Fotosport/David Gibson

Ireland U20s 38

Scotland U20s 26

THREE tries during a five-minute spell straddling half-time took this game away from the young Scots on a blustery night in Cork, but they kept battling away and got their reward when replacement stand-off Cameron Scott skipped past his man and over the line to snatch a bonus-point securing fourth try in the fifth minute of injury-time.

It was always going to be a tough mission for Sean Lineen’s side against last year’s Grand Slam champions on their own patch and the visitors will be encouraged by certain aspects of their game, especially their set-piece – but some haphazard defending left them too much of a mountain to climb.

The Irish started off in dominant fashion and took a 10th minute lead when powerful centre Dan Kelly made the initial dent straight from scrum ball and then sent out a speculative pass which was picked up by stand-off Jack Crowley, who spun out of three tackles on his way to the line.

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The Scots bounced back when inside centre Robbie McCallum got the visitors on the front foot with a typically powerful surge and quick recycle off first phase ball, which allowed scrum-half Roan Frostwick to release hooker Ewan Ashman, who shrugged off two tackle on his way to the scoring zone – but no sooner had they drawn level than Lineen’s team fell behind again when home tight-head Tomas Clarkson managed to get the ball down amid a heap of bodies at the end of a sustained bombardment.

It looked like the Scots would go in at half-time well in touch when slick hands from the back of a scrum involving Froswick, stand-off Nathan Chamberlain and outside-centre Matthew Currie sent left winger Jack Blain over in the corner, but then a long range score from man-of-the-match Crowley, brushing off Scottish full-back Ollie Smith with indecent ease along the way, opened up some daylight just before the break.

It was a wonderful effort by the hometown stand-off, but the Scots will be furious with themselves at coughing up possession and then tackling so poorly to hand the hosts a big boost at such a crucial moment in the match.

Then, with just three minutes of the second-half played, the visitors fell even further behind when flanker Sean O’Brien burst through two Scottish tacklers and sent winger Andrew Smith over on the left; and things deteriorated further when another fumble handed Ireland possession deep in their own half and No 8 David McCann, hooker Tom Stewart and the majestically athletic 6ft 7ins second-row Thomas Ahern took full advantage with a brilliant long-range score.

Scotland pulled a try back when, after a fairly prolonged period of possession in the Irish 22, Chamberlain shimmied between two lumbering forwards and nipped in under the posts.

Scots replacement wing Rufus McLean was yellow-carded with just under ten minutes to go for clumsily clattering into Oran McNulty as the Irish full-back collected jumped to collect a high ball, and from the resultant penalty into the corner a green maul rumbled over the line before replacement hooker John McKee added the finishing touch – which killed off any prospect of an unlikely comeback for the visitors.

But to their credit, the boys in blue kept battling, and  finished the match pushing hard for their fourth try, and they finally got their reward when Scott skipped over for that late try.

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Teams –

Ireland: O McNulty; E McIlroy, D Kelly, H Hyde (L Faria 51), A Smith; J Crowley (T Corkery 74), L Finlay (B Murphy 76); C Ward (C Ryan 58), T Stewart (John McKee (J McKee 58), T Clarkson, B Deeny, T Ahern, S O’Brien, M Hernan (A Soroka 74), D McCann.

Scotland: O Smith; J Henry, M Currie, R McCallum (C Scott 61), J Blain (R McLean 46); N Chamberlain, R Frostwick (K McGhie 61); A Maxwell (T Lambert 45), E Ashman (R Jackson 35-40, 76), M Wilson (M Breese 45), K Watt (J Campbell 71), C Henderson (G Brown 71), J Hill, C Boyle, R Darge.

Referee: Gianluca Gnecchi


Scorers –

Ireland: Tries: Crowley 2, Clarkson, Smith, Ahern, McKee; Cons: Crowley 4.

Scotland: Tries: Ashman, Blain, Chamberlain, Scott; Cons: Chamberlain 3.

Scoring sequence (Ireland first): 5-0; 7-0; 7-5; 7-7; 12-7; 14-7; 14-12; 19-12; 21-12 (h-t) 26-12; 28-12; 33-12; 33-17; 33-19; 38-19; 38-24; 38-26.


Yellow cards –

Scotland: McLean

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