Scotland under-20 gave themselves a confidence lift ahead of their opening Six Nations Championship match against England at Broadwood Stadium a week on Friday by achieving a characterful win over a strong Scotland Club XV on the back pitches at BT Murrayfield last night.
A strong south westerly wind blowing end to end determined the shape of the game but it was the under-20s who made better use of the elements with skilful kicking from stand-off Adam Hastings that allowed his side to hit back and eventually overtake the Club XV after trailing 26-7 at half-time.
Hastings – son of Gavin – also looked the part in controlling the game and complemented this with unflinching defensive chores. Others in the under-20 side to impress were second row Scott Cummings, wing Darcy Graham, replacement centre George Taylor, hookers Lewis Anderson and Jake Kerr and replacement flanker Scott Burnside.
“We were in a deep hole at half-time but the boys did well in the second half with the wind behind them. Overall this was valuable game experience for the squad,” said the Scotland under-20 head coach, John Dalziel.
Missing from last night’s action were scrum-half Charlie Shiel, flankers Jamie Ritchie and Tom Gordon, props Gary Robertson and Dan Elkington and, of course, fellow front row Zander Fagerson who has been called into the senior squad.
For the Club XV, who play English Counties at Galashiels on Friday 26 February and their Irish counterparts in Cork on the final weekend of the Six Nations, there were a number of impressive performances notably from scrum-half Paddy Boyer, centre Ross Curle and back row Jason Hill.
All of the Club XV’s tries were scored in the first half when they had the strong wind at their backs, two of them from wing Jordan Edmonds. The Club XV’s second try was scored by Boyer who tracked a back row move to perfection and their final touchdown from wing Sam Pecquer. Stand-off Lee Armstrong, who impressed in the pivot position kicked three conversions.
For the under-20s, Ally Miller scored their only try in the first half, Hastings adding the conversion. Then, after the break, prop Murray McCallum powered over for a try before Stephen Ainslie finished off a lineout drive.
In the final quarter the under-20s then narrowed the gap with a try by Taylor converted by Hastings and then secured the game with a Burnside touchdown again converted by Hastings.