SCOTLAND’S leading under-20 talents sent a great fillip to the senior side yesterday when they put more than 60 points on their Samoan counterparts and finished the IRB Junior World Championship on a high.
The Scots had opened the tournament with a humiliating 67-12 loss to Australia, but bounced back and came very close to reaching the last four of the overall competition. However, they lost out narrowly to Argentina, who eventually finished fourth, and France, who ended up in sixth spot. The young Australians, tipped as title contenders beforehand, finished eighth.
Scotland finished the tournament strongly, however, underlining the value of high-intensity games together, by beating Italy 34-17 and then thumping Samoa yesterday in Cape Town 62-28.
That lifted Scotland to ninth place, which overall slightly disappointed the players and coach Peter Wright, but was one higher than last year’s side managed, the best finish since 2009, and ensured that Scotland would be back in the pot for next year’s championship.
Centre Finn Russell led the way yesterday with a hat-trick of tries, with prop Robin Hislop and winger Tom Steven following him on to the score-sheet in the opening 20 minutes. Winger Jamie Farndale rocketed to the top of the tournament’s try-scoring charts with six after grabbing another brace, replacement centre Tommy Allan also grabbed two tries, and lock Andrew Redmayne and captain Harry Leonard took the tally to nine. Leonard converted seven and added a penalty to finish as one the championship’s top points-scorers.
Samoa did pull the deficit back to eight points early in the second half, centre Robert Lilomaiava scoring his second try to add to first-half scores from himself and winger Utu Poliko, all converted by the other starting wing Fomai Ah Ki.
Replacement prop Fale Iosefa grabbed Samoa’s last try and they lost flanker Talaga Alofipo to a red card seven minutes from time, his fellow flanker Elia Togitele having been sin-binned late in the first half.
Wright, who now hands over the Scotland U20 reins to Sean Lineen, commented: “This was a great team performance.
“We stood out particularly at the set-piece and our dominant start stood us in good stead for the rest of the match. Samoa came back late in the first half and early in the second, so we had to turn the screw and re-create our dominant position.
“It’s good to finish the tournament in ninth place, one place above last year. Everyone made this win happen.”
Scotland: S Hidalgo-Clyne; J Farndale, K Buchan, F Russell, T Steven; H Leonard (capt), M McConnell; R Hislop, G Turner, A Allan, G Graham, A Redmayne, W Bordill, C Reid, M Eadie. Subs: T Allan for Buchan 44mins, M Crawley for Steven 51, A Nagle for Eadie 54, S Smith for Graham 59, M Torrance for McConnell 66, J Bhatti for Hislop, G Robertson for Allan, both 67, S Cessford for Bordill 75.
Samoa: P Schuster; F Ah Ki, R Lilomaiava, T David, U Poliko; Z Schuster, F Maiava; A Sio, R Lafo (capt), A Broomhall, S Toleafoa, T Tu’ulua, T Alofipo, E Togitele, A Hunt. Subs: T Solia for Toleafoa 41, R Faamatuainu for Togitele 49, P Sasagi for Schuster 53, P Masei for Broomhall, A Iosefa for Sio, both 59, F Isoefa for David 62, R Salu for Lafo 66, L Ulu for Sasagi 76.
Referee: A Gardner (Aus).
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Wednesday 19 June 2013
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