Pollock’s young Scots impress in defeat to France

Scotland produced their best performance of the season but it was still not enough to prevent France from earning a 19-7 victory over the Scots in the opening round of the FIRA-AER under-18 tournament yesterday at the University of Madrid.

As a consequence, Scotland will play Portugal, who lost 34-24 to Ireland, in the semi-final round on Tuesday. In the other matches, Wales beat Italy 41-8 and England defeated Georgia 58-8.

“I thought this was a fantastic performance from the boys,” said Scotland coach Eddie Pollock. “I’m just so pleased with the level of commitment the boys showed. The 19-7 scoreline did not reflect the game.”

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Scotland were unlucky to have a penalty try awarded against them for a dubious obstruction, which left them 7-0 down at half-time. France increased their lead to 19-0 in the second half but Scotland, who had put pressure on the French throughout the match, got their reward with a try from a high tempo build-up and good finishing from Aberdeen GS winger Ed Farquharson, replacement stand-off Ben Cooper adding the conversion goal.

France U18: N Metge; T Bouyxou, B Perrot, G Fickou, S Parez; S Dimitri, B Serin; Y Amrouni, R Ruffenach, A Rochet, A Iturria, J-B Singer, Y Camara, R Molcard, F Lambey. Subs from O Ishchenko, B Andre, E Forletta, E Lombard-Buret, J Benhaim, F Cros, J-B Lespinasse, T Daubagne, F Bouvier, M Belguidoum, J Gardey.

Scotland U18: G Lowe (Ayr); E Farquharson (Cults Academy/Aberdeen GS), C Mackenzie-Lawrie (Warwick School), N Herron (Jordanhill School/West of Scotland), S MacDonald (Dunblane HS/Stirling County); C Irvine (Harrogate), M McAndrew (Strathallan/Howe of Fife); J Malcolm (Hutchesons’ GS/GHA), B Jardine (Carrick Academy/Kilmarnock), P Cringle (Kirkham GS/Douglas), A Cramond (RHS/BATS, N Irvine-Hess (George Watson’s College), C Simpson (Edinburgh Academy), C Dean (Edinburgh Academy), C Turner (Robert Gordon’s College). Subs used: C Barnes (Glasgow HS/Glasgow Hawks), D Rae (Kilmarnock), D Campbell (Robert Gordon’s College/Mackie), A Glashan (Edinburgh Academy), B Cooper (Sedbergh), S Pecqueur (Trinity Academy/BATS), S Moncur (St Ambrose College/Sale Sharks).