Wales v Scotland: Uphill battle for Scots after 26-13 under-20s defeat
They were competitive throughout but the lack of exposure many of the home-based players in particular get to meaningful rugby was conspicuous.
Christian Townsend passed up an early opportunity to nudge Scotland into a three-point lead when he pushed a penalty to the right of the posts, but the visitors kept their focus and got their reward with quarter of an hour when No.8 Matt Deehan bustled over from close-range.
Townsend added the extras, but Scotland struggled thereafter for possession, and did well defensively to keep their line intact during the remainder of the first half.
And they also rode their luck a little, with home stand-off Jac Lloyd hitting the kindling with a not-rolling-away penalty from 25-yards out and almost directly in front of the posts on the stroke of half-time.
Full-back Robin McLintock fired home a penalty early in the second half to stretch Scotland’s advantage to 10 points, but Wales responded well, claiming a try through No 8 and captain Alex Mann, who did well to collect fellow back-rower Tom Cowan’s offload at knee level then carry three Scottish tacklers over the line.
Scotland seemed rattled for a while, struggling to cope with the swirling wind, but Welsh indiscipline helped them work their way back into the game, and a not releasing penalty offered Mc Lintock an opportunity to show the range of his booming left boot, firing home a massive kick from just inside the Welsh half.
However, the visitors fell behind five minutes later when an overthrown line-out handed Wales possession deep inside the Scottish 22, and Joe Hawkins hit a great line at pace to claim the home team’s second try, which Morgan Lloyd converted to give his team a narrow lead with 12 minutes play.
Right wing Harri Houston took the game beyond Scotland’s reach when he finished well in the corner on 74 minutes, and the bonus-point was secured in the final minute by replacement back-row Morgan Morse.
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