Italy U20 29-30 Scotland U20: Stirring comeback by young Scots

Sean Lineen’s Under-20 side finally gave the nation something to cheer about by fighting back against Italy to pick up the first Scots win of this Six Nations campaign at any level last night.

Rufus McLean touches down for Scotland 
U20 against Italy in Reggio Emilia. Picture: Matteo Ciambelli/INPHO/Shutterstock
Rufus McLean touches down for Scotland U20 against Italy in Reggio Emilia. Picture: Matteo Ciambelli/INPHO/Shutterstock

The stirring comeback should provide inspiration to Gregor Townsend’s 
senior team ahead of their outing at the Stadio Olimpico this afternoon.

Late tries from centre Robbie McCallum and flanker Connor Boyle, and a conversion from sub winger Harry Paterson, secured the 30-29 win at the Stadio Mirabello – ending a four-match losing streak against the young Azzurri.

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Scotland had started well, but first-half tries by scrum-half Kyle McGhie and winger Rufus McLean were cancelled out by Manuel Zuliani and Federico Mori. Two conversions and a penalty from stand-off Paolo Garbisi, plus further tries from Jacopo Trulla and Michael Mba appeared to have taken the game out of reach with 20 minutes left.

But McCallum’s try was a combination of opportunism (after Cameron’s Scott’s dink through had been charged down) and hard-nosed finishing ability, while Boyle’s late score was all guts – typifying the gritty performance.

A special mention should go to the Scottish front-row of Nathan Chamberlain, Ewan Ashman and Mak Wilson, who played the full 80 minutes without taking a backward step.