AFTER an arid run of results at under-20 level, Scotland Men returned to winning ways in age-grade international rugby in their opening match of the Six Nations Under-18 Festival, being played in the Parisian suburb of Marcoussis, with a 31-17 victory over Italy
In all. the young Scots scored five tries, two by the Stirling County wing Logan Jarvie, and one apiece from scrum-half Murdock Lock (Wellington College/Harlequins Academy), hooker Elliot Young (Stewart’s Melville College) and wing Amena Caqusau (Queen Victoria School), Stand-off Luke Townsend (Melrose Wasps) converted three of the Scotland tries.
“We’re very pleased with this result,” said Ross Mille, the Scotland under-18 head coach, adding: “This game was the first experience of international rugby for this group, although a few were involved at under-16 level.
‘I thought that our players were exciting in attack and overall their game management was impressive, particularly when there was a lot of pressure from Italy. We finished the stronger in what was a real squad effort. The guys who came on certainly made a difference.”
Scotland’s next match in the Under-18 Festival will be against France on Wednesday.
Scotland U18 Men (v Italy): J Brown; L Jarvie, K Johnston, A Thom, A Caqussau; L Townsend, M Lock; C Smyth, E Young, R Deans, E McVie, A Maitland, L McConnell, M Job, T Currie. Replacements: M Brogan, J Blyth-Laerty, B Brylak, B Weir, R Hart, S Wallace, H Patterson, A McLean, F Thomson, J Ventisei, E Muirhead.
Meanwhile, Scotland Under-18 Women were well beaten, 24-0 by Wales, in the first of two 35-minutes matches they played on day one of the international rugby festival which is being hosted at the DAM Health Stadium this week. However, they did manage a a 0-0 draw against Italy in their second 70-minute match. They now play Italy again in a 70-minute match on Wednesday (kick-off 2.30pm).
“Going into today we had a pretty rigid framework that we were going to give everyone a start and we were going to look at some combinations,” head coach Duncan Harrison said. “I think we were a little bit slow against Wales, not through lack of trying. And then for the Italy game, we came in with a lot more confidence. We were brave both sides of the ball and played at a good tempo.
“It’s been a massive step forward and a very positive step forward both sides of the ball. We’ll have some good measurables of how we are progressing as a group having played Italy and playing them again. the best part of today, particularly in the second game was that we created opportunities, and it’s just that execution, and that will come the more they are put under pressure in these games. We are leaving today in a very positive state, technically, tactically and as you can see from the smiles on their faces emotionally as well. They’ve just loved it.”
Scotland U18 Women (v Wales): L MacRae; H Walker, H Speer, E Campbell, S Phimster; C Ainsworth, H Dunnett; F Gracie, M Poolman, P Fletcher, K Ritchie, M Hyland, M MacDonald, A Stewart, S Taganekuruukuru. Replacements: H Brogan, E Fleming, C Brown, E Quigley, M Gray, N Robertson-Jack, C McDonald, K Craig, N Flynn, B Henderson, S Langford.