by Alan Lorimer @ Meggetland
Japan Schools achieved a 10-7 win over Scotland under-19 on Sunday afternoon to gain revenge for their defeat to the young Scots a week earlier.
In contrast to the conditions at Inverleith for the first of the two-match series, the Meggetland pitch was heavy and slippery after torrential rain showers, militating against the kind of open rugby that characterised the first match.
In the event the game became a forward battle and one in which Japan Schools ultimately won.
“The conditions made it very difficult but difficult for both sides.’ said the Scotland under-19 coach Don Caskie, adding : “They really wanted it and we missed a few opportunities. But our boys did what we asked them to do.”
Crucially Scotland missed a kick at goal directly in front of the posts by Glasgow Hawks stand-off Josh Henderson and then in the second half the Scots failed to finish off a break by the Dundee High School, replacement stand-off Ewan Fox.
Scotland started strongly with try under posts by second row Hamish Bain after a surging run by his Currie club mate Luke Crosbie, Henderson adding the conversion.
But a penalty goal by stand-off Yuta Shimotori provided Japan Schools with first half points. Then in after the break it was Japan Schools who scored the only try of the second half from a driven line-out five metres from the Scotland line, credited to flanker Tiachi Mano, converted this time by Yuta Yano.
Scotland team: B Sorbie(GHA); Ali Greig (Stew-Mel), L Berg ( George Watsons College), G Huggan (Hawick), R McCann ( Stew-Mel); J Henderson (Glasgow Hawks), C Shiel (Currie – captain); B Christie (Loughborough University), F Renwich (Hawick), D Winning (London Irish), J Ure (Worthing), H Bain (Currie), L Crosbie (Currie), T Gordon (Currie), A Grant-Suttie (GHA).
Replacements: M Emmison (Aberdeenshire), J Ross (Kirkham/Sale), B Robertson (Kelso), G Blackwell (Kirkham/Sale), G Bordill (Sandbach/Sale), A Simmers (Heriot’s), R Kay (Heriot’s), S Chapman (Hawick), E Fox (High School of Dundee/ Dundee HSFP).
Man of the Match: Hawick Wanderers hooker Fraser Renwick has started for the Greens several times this season and was in the Scotland under-20 squad for the Six Nations Championship, gave an all-round performance , putting in countless tackles, carrying ball forcefully and capping a fine display with a twenty metre break.