Horne shines in Scots U20s victory over Club XV

Scotland U20s' Zander Fagerson, right, is challenged by Scotland Club XV's Struan Cessford at Murrayfield  Picture: Gary Hutchison/SNS/SRU

Scotland U20s' Zander Fagerson, right, is challenged by Scotland Club XV's Struan Cessford at Murrayfield Picture: Gary Hutchison/SNS/SRU

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THE Scotland under-20s withstood a pretty good comeback from the Club XV on the back pitches at BT Murrayfield last night to win this training match.

Scotland U20 - 30

Scotland Club XV - 17

In the first half the under-20s dominated things, with Glasgow Hawks’ scrum-half George Horne the star of the show.

He was at the centre of everything good that they did and was always looking to create space for his outside back. He also linked very well with stand-off Tom Galbraith of Melrose and that is a partnership head coach Sean Lineen may look to use during the RBS Six Nations.

Horne gave his side the lead after five minutes with a penalty and then there was a long stoppage in play while Callum Templeton of Ayr, playing second-row for the Club XV, was treated on the pitch for an ankle injury.

He had to go off and on 18 minutes the under-20s scored the first try with a lovely jinking run by full-back Ruairi Howarth, of Edinburgh Rugby and Gala, seeing him go over. Horne converted and it was 10-0.

Horne blotted his copybook slightly three minutes later with a missed penalty, but before the break they scored another try through second-row Scott Cummings and Horne kicked another penalty.

At 18-0 down at the interval the Club XV knew they were going to have to do something special in the second 40 minutes to get back into things and their replacements helped them do just that.

The likes of George Graham and Rueben Norville, an under-20s winger on loan to the Club XV, looked sharp and the latter scored a try alongside two well worked ones by Ayr centre Ross Curle. Stand-off Gregor McNeish, who looked tidy for the Club XV, converted one of them and the game was on again at 18-17 with just over an hour played.

However, that man Horne was not going to see his side defeated and he ran in a try and then, with three minutes to go replacement back Ben Chalmers, the son of former Scotland star Craig, went over for a try and then converted to finish things at 30-17.

Both sides will have taken a lot from this outing, with the under-20s backs looking sharp in the first 40 minutes and their forwards fronting up when they had to late on.

Scorers: U20s – Tries: Howarth, Cummings, Horne, Chalmers. Cons: Horne, Chalmers. Pens: Horne (2). Club XV – Tries: Curle 2, Norville. Con: McNeish.

U20: R Howarth; H Elms; A Russell, P Kelly, A Coombes; T Galbraith, G Horne; M McCallum, R Graham, Z Fagerson, S Cummings, L Carmichael, L Wynne, J Ritchie, M Bradbury. Subs: J Kerr, G Robertson, D Elkington, N Irvine-Hess, A Miller, A Manson, B Chalmers, R Smith.

Club XV: K Buchan; C Gossman, R Curle, C Auld, S McLeod; G McNeish, G Wilson; N Beavon R Anderson, S Cessford, S Sutherland, C Templeton, Gary Graham, T Spinks, R Weston. Subs: F Scott, E McQuillin, S Findlay, S Muir, M Peacock, I Moody, George Graham, S Edwards, R Norville.

Referee: A McMenemy.

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