SCOTLAND under-18s scored three tries in their opening match of the U18 International Series in Swansea on Saturday afternoon, but eventually fell to a narrow defeat to the host nation.

Cameron Hutchison touched down in the first half with Ben Appleson converting and kicking two penalties, but the Welsh had blasted their way to four converted tries meaning that they led  28-13 at the break.

A Rory McMichael try allied to a penalty and a conversion from Appleson narrowed the gap to five points, before Wales gave themselves some breathing space with a penalty.

A late Strachan try narrowed the gap to just a single point, but they were not able to add to that and clinch a famous victory.

Scotland’s next game is against Ireland on Tuesday.

Scotland U18 starting XV: 15. Stafford McDowall (Merchiston); 14. Rory McMichael (Wellington College/Harlequins), 13. Fraser Dingwall (Bedford School/Northampton Saints), 12. Cameron Hutchison (Heriot’s/North Berwick), 11. Ben Appleson (Edinburgh Academy); 10. Grant Hughes (Dollar Academy), 9. Charlie Gowling (Sedburgh/Newcastle Falcons), 1. Ross Dunbar (Stirling County/Linlithgow Academy), 2. Paul Cairncross (Kelvinside Academy/East Kilbride), 3. Euan McLaren (Dollar Academy), 4. Archie Erskine (Leicester Tigers/Uppingham School), 5. Jamie Hodgson (Stewart Melville College), 6. Jack Bruce (Strathallan), 7. Callum Cruikshank (Dollar Academy), 8. Dan Marek (Richard Huish College/Bath).

U18 International Series Fixtures –

Friday 25 March: St Helens, Swansea – Wales v Scotland (2.30pm)

Tuesday 29 March: Caerphilly Centre of Sporting Excellence, Ystrad Mynach – Ireland v Scotland (5.15pm) and Wales v Italy (7.30pm)

Saturday 2 April: Caerphilly Centre of Sporting Excellence, Ystrad Mynach – Italy v Ireland (11am), Scotland v England (1.30pm)

About David Barnes 3818 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including he Herald/Sunday Herald, The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Scotsman/Scotland on Sunday/Evening News, The Daily Record, The Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday and The Sun.