Archibald gets young Scots off the hook

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Scotland U-21 18

Tonga U-21 17

DESPITE an indifferent performance in the rain, Scotland last night overcame a stuffy Tongan side with a penalty by full-back Brian Archibald in the eighth minute of injury time to secure a ninth-place play-off against Italy in the IRB Under-21 World Championship at New Anniesland on Sunday. Archibald made amends for three earlier misses with a kick from in front of the post after Tonga had been caught offside.

The Scots trailed 17-3 at the interval and coach Jono Phillips made sweeping changes, although it was only when Nomani Tonga was yellow-carded in the second half that Colin Shaw gave the Scots a lifeline with a try.

When told someone had shouted "You’re a disgrace Scotland, an embarrassment," Scotland manager John Jeffrey said: "I could not disagree with that."

Captain Mark McMillan was just relieved to get a win. "We made it as hard as possible for ourselves, but among the wrong decisions, we got the victory."

Tonga opened with a penalty through Vaea Poteki in 11 minutes. But the lead was short-lived as Archibald levelled three minutes later. The Tongans hit back when Archibald allowed a kick to slip through his hands, and Hudson Tonga’Uiha pounced for a try converted by Poteki. Worse was to follow before half-time when Alipate Fatafehi intercepted a pass just outside his own 22 and ran the length of the field to touch down under the posts.

In the second half, Craig McGrath, Sean Tomes and Andy Dunlop came on in the pack and Neil Hunter replaced Stephen Jones at No10. After Tonga’s sin-binning, Scotland made the extra man count when Shaw stretched over the line in 49 minutes. Archibald missed two penalties in the space of four minutes before replacement scrum-half Brendan McKerchar burrowed low over the line and Archibald converted.

The Scots seemed to have blown it when Archibald missed his third penalty three minutes from the end, but the full-back’s last-gasp kick split the posts.

• England kept their hopes of a fifth-place finish alive as they scored six tries in a convincing 39-13 victory over Argentina. The tries came from Nick Wood, Joe Bedford, Chris Bell, Henry Barratt, Luke Narraway and James Bailey. Adrian Jarvis converted three and kicked a penalty. Argentina’s try-scorers were Mauro Comuzzi and Javier Irazusta, and Alfredo Cordone kicked a penalty.

Scorers: Scotland U-21: Tries: Shaw, McKerchar. Con: Archibald. Pens: Archibald 2. Tonga U-21: Tries: Tonga’Uiha, Fatafehi. Cons: Poteki 2. Pen: Poteki.

Scotland U-21: B Archibald; S Gordon, I Berthinussen, R Dewey, C Shaw; S Jones, M McMillan (capt); S Corsar, R Ford, A Dickinson, I Dryburgh, C White, A Strokosch, S Forrest, G Strang. Subs (all used): F Thomson, C McGrath, S Tomes, A Dunlop, B McKerchar, N Hunter, J Houston.

Tonga U-21: K Latu; ’A Fatafehi, S Havili, H Tonga’uiha, P Teisina; V Poteki, T Toumohuni; J Motua’apuaka, M Finau (capt), V Akimeta, N Tonga, S Timani, T Fosita, S ’Ofa, S ’Onesi. Subs: T Folaumoetao, P Halatokoua, P Fakalelu, T Fa’asolo, K Halapio, P Tu’ipulofu, A Taufa.

Referee: A McKay (Ireland).


IRB Under-21 World Championship

Semi-final A: New Zealand 26, South Africa 11. Semi-final B: Australia 13 Ireland 26.

Semi-final D: Scotland 18, Tonga 17. Semi-final F: England 39, Argentina 13. Semi-final C: Italy 33 Russia 20. Semi-final E: Wales 29, France 21.


IRB Under-21 World Championship (The following matches will be played in Glasgow on Sunday, subject to official confirmation):

Final: New Zealand v Ireland (Hughenden, 4:15pm). Third place play-off: South Africa v Australia (Hughenden, 1:45pm). Fifth place play-off: England v Wales (Dumbreck, 1pm). Seventh place play-off: Argentina v France (New Anniesland, 1pm). Ninth place play-off: Italy v Scotland (New Anniesland, 10:45am). Eleventh place play-off: Tonga v Russia (Dumbreck, 10:45am).