Scotland play their final pool C match of the IRB World Junior Championship at the Stade Pascal Laporte in Nantes tonight knowing that a bonus point win over Samoa and defeat for France in their game against South Africa could propel the young Scots into the fifth-eighth group of countries for the final two rounds.
“It’s a massive carrot for the boys,” said Scotland under-20 head coach, Sean Lineen. “If we achieved this it would be the first time ever at under-20 level. We let ourselves down against Argentina, who fielded several full international players,but we bounced back against Wales and had a real opportunity to win that game. We missed three penalty kicks and, in the end, that proved costly. But the bonus point we achieved could be important. I believe we have it in us to win against Samoa.”
Although they have suffered two defeats, Scotland can take much out of their pool matches. Against Argentina the Scots scored two tries and repeated this feat against Wales. Moreover, apart from recognised performers such as Mark Bennett and Jamie Farndale, there have been a number of stand-outs.
Elsewhere, there will be a scrap to win places in the top four with South Africa, New Zealand, England, Ireland, Wales and Argentina all in contention.
Scotland U20: J Kilmartin; J Farndale, C Auld, R Fergusson, D Hoyland; T Allan, A Price; J Malcolm, R Anderson, D Rae, E Masterson, J Gray (captain), T Spinks, A Henderson, A Ashe Subs C Black, J Bhatti, P Cringle, R Leishman, W Bordill, S Steele, B Cooper, R Hughes.