U18 Six Nations Festival: Scotland come up short against Ireland in campaign opener

Ross Miller's side now face France on Wednesday

Scotland came up short against Ireland on the opening weekend of the U18 Six Nations Festival. Image courtesy: YouTube
Scotland came up short against Ireland on the opening weekend of the U18 Six Nations Festival. Image courtesy: YouTube

Ireland  34

Scotland 20

SCOTLAND put in a competitive performance against a strong Ireland side in the opening round of the Six Nations under-18 Festival at the Energia Stadium at Donnybrook, Dublin, but two costly tries towards the end of each half were decisive and ultimately led to a 34-20 defeat. 

The young Scots actually led 10-7 after 14 mins of the first half having made a good start to the game with trenchant forward play, solid defence and some enterprising back moves.

Scotland head coach Ross Miller praised his side for delivering a strong, if not a winning, performance. He said: “I was very pleased with our start. We created lots of opportunities but weren’t able to finish them off. I thought that we were effective in attack.

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“We played against a very good Ireland side with the majority of their players coming from schools around Dublin. It’s a strong Leinster connection. For our boys, it was a great experience playing in front of a vociferous crowd.”

Amongst the strong performers for the Scots were hooker Joe Roberts from Robert Gordon’s College, who is still under-17, and scrum-half Hector Patterson from Hawick. “Hector’s had a great season with Premiership champions Hawick and that has given him valuable experience and confidence,” stated Miller.

Others to catch the eye were the Merchiston stand-off Isaac Coates , the George Watson’s College full-back Jack Brown and the Boroughmuir tight-head prop Ollie Blyth-Lafferty, whose brother Jerry played for the under-18s last season before progressing to the Scotland under-20 team during the recent Six Nations.

Scotland trailed 22-10 at half-time having scored their points from a try by Patterson – the scrum half selling an outrageous dummy close to the line – and Brown who kicked a conversion and a penalty goal.

Then, in the second half, the industrious Edinburgh Academy back-row Ollie Duncan bagged Scotland’s second try, with Brown, who had also kicked a second penalty goal, again successful with the conversion to give the skipper a ten points tally for the match.

The Scots now have four days to recover before facing France next Wednesday in the second of their three matches in the Festival.

France will be on a high after starting their campaign with a win over England, 23-22, in a thrilling encounter featuring three-tries apiece from the two sides, one of the England touchdowns coming from flanker Reuben Logan, whose dad Kenny played for Scotland 70 times between 1992 and 2003, and whose mum Gabby knows a bit about rugby, too.


Scotland U18: J Brown CAPTAIN (George Watson’s College);  F Watson (Biggar RFC), J Ventisei (St Aloysius/GHA RFC), L McEwan-Peters (Yorkshire Academy/Wellington College),  S Rockley (London Irish/Bishop Wand/London Irish Academy);  I Coates (Merchiston Castle),  H Patterson (Hawick RFC); B White (Peebles RFC), J Roberts (Robert Gordon’s College), O Blyth-Lafferty (Boroughmuir RFC),  F Wilson (Gala RFC), C Moss (Marlow Rugby/Shiplake College/Wasps),
O Duncan (Edinburgh Academy), F Douglas (Stewart’s Melville College),
F Spurway (Glenalmond College).

Replacements: S Stephen (Glenalmond College/Aberdeen Grammar RFC), F Mcintosh (George Watson’s College), Keita Ando (SC Frankfurt 1880/Sedbergh), B Godsell (Gloucester Academy/Marling), N Torkington (Stirling County RFC), F Wood (George Heriot’s School), H Alderson (Stewart’s Melville College), M Urwin (St Aloysius), J Hocking (Edinburgh Rugby), T Russell (Stewarts Melville College), S Leweni (Queen Victoria School).

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About Alan Lorimer 368 Articles
Scotland rugby correspondent for The Times for six years and subsequently contributed to Sunday Times, Daily and Sunday Telegraph, Scotsman, Herald, Scotland on Sunday, Sunday Herald and Reuters. Worked in Radio for BBC. Alan is Scottish rugby journalism's leading voice when it comes to youth and schools rugby.


  1. Just got back from the match day, impressive stuff all around thought the boys did very well… but for a few handling errors it could of been a different tale, the early injury to the Irish Lock strangely hurt us as his replacement was a giant who dominated the line from then on disturbing ours and winning all theirs, we didn’t spot it and keep him a2ay from our throws, so lots of possession given away, we also don’t seem to chase kicks, giving trouble free catching to the Irish today, Hal-backs worked very well together, ref definitely had his green specs on, but these are boys that are trying things and I’d rather see that than the up the jumper type of game personally great kicking games from 15 and 10, and scrums went well OBL top game in the tight, the score was definitely flattering to the home team, I watched France/England afterwards, littered with handling mistakes, so make no bones we didn’t have that level of mishandling, but the pace of that game… wow

  2. Scotland are usually competitive at U18. Something happens in the transition to U20.

  3. Encouraging performance from this group of players against a formidable Ireland team. They were in the fight until that unfortunate mistake at the end. Jack Brown looks good at 15 and 9/10 were solid. Impressed by the back row too. Especially 7 (Douglas) looks like one for the future. Front row…Ben White packs a punch. Our centres are a slight concern with some basic handling errors. Hopefully some other out there who can challenge.

    Good luck to the boys for the game against France. Strong start with plenty of positives to take into Wednesday.

  4. This was a good watch -as per last years tournament. Lots of enterprise and a good contest, much better when you have some form of set piece platform to play from. I am surprised no mention of the flankers both whom played well, Douglas in particular notably doing a great job at breakdown and with his support lines. Ireland very aggressive in defensive line speed and took advantage of a few our errors but by no means out of sight.

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