Wales v Scotland: Uphill battle for Scots after 26-13 under-20s defeat

A frustrating defeat for the young Scots, and with Italy picking a 6-0 home win over England, Kenny Murray’s side now face an uphill battle to avoid a second successive Six Nations whitewash at this age level.

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.

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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.

(Photo by Ross MacDonald / SNS Group)(Photo by Ross MacDonald / SNS Group)
(Photo by Ross MacDonald / SNS Group)

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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