Scotland: (1) 19
Tries: May, Grahamslaw, Wilson Goals: Anderson-Moore (3) Drop Goal: Anderson-Moore
Ireland: (12) 24
Tries: Angling (3), McNamee Goals: McNamee (4)
Ireland Under 19’s gained revenge for their home defeat against Scotland in April with a very disciplined and well structured performance at Livingston RFC yesterday.
A late resurgence for a young Scotland side was not quite enough from keeping the visiting side from claiming the victory in Livingston.
It was a very defensive display for the first quarter of the game where Scotland weren’t able to convert any possession to field position, but did manage to keep Ireland scoreless despite numerous attempts at the line.
With 21 minutes into the first half Scotland found field position and scrum half Max Anderson-Moore put over a drop goal to come away from the Irish half with something and were to receive the kick off and possession.
It was a frustrating unforced handling error at the kick off which gifted Ireland with possession 10m from the try line. It didn’t take long for hooker Patrick Angling to go over from dummy half with the successful conversion by Josh McNamee to put the Irish ahead.
A further try from McNamee who found a gap under the posts extended Irelands lead by 1-12 after converting his own try giving the Irish the upper hand at half time.
Scotland came out of the sheds needing a quick try to gain momentum in the game but it was Ireland that capitalised on early possession with Angling claiming a brace and McNamee adding the extras.
The Bravehearts had some opportunities echoing the good defensive work done in the first half by keeping Ireland near their line and forcing a goal line drop out. On the next set, an Irish kick out on the full gave Scotland further opportunities which they will rue not coming away with anything.
Angling completed his hat-trick with a try similar to the first two finding a gap from dummy half McNamee maintaining his 100% kick rate and putting Ireland with a seeming unassailable 1-24 lead going into the final 15 minutes.
Scotland finally found some momentum and with the crowd behind them finally crossed the whitewash through a dummy half effort by Dan May, an easy conversion by Anderson-Moore left the hosts with all to do 7-24 behind, but with seven minutes to go Jack Grahamslaw crossed out wide, Anderson-Moore adding the extras; the seemingly impossible became very much in reach.
It was Lyle Wilson who crossed next breaking the line and going under the posts, with an easy conversion Scotland were within a try for victory but with three minutes to go, could they cross again.
Scotland had a couple of attempts to go over and clinch victory but the Ireland side would have been relieved at the final whistle.
The game was a credit to both sides with both teams showing that they had developed significantly since the first game in April. An enthusiastic crowd of just over 200 enjoyed the match in unusually hot and sunny Scottish weather.
Scotland head coach Mark Brennan:
This game is an important step in our preparation for next year’s Under 19s European Championships in Italy, we’ve played a young team today and the experience they will gain from playing a good Ireland team will be invaluable.
Lucas Reid, Euan Caldwell, Matthew Ferguson, Jak Fairbrother, Ryan Brown, Fergus Simpson, Max Anderson-Moore, Connor Terrill(c), Dan May, Kyle McCulloch, Lyle Wilson, Jack Grahamslaw, Dylan Sykes
Interchange: Fraser Gilvray, Andrew McKie, Rowan Armatage, Joe Dewar, Jack McMillan(c)
Sam Cullen, Eoin Creaby, Cameron Manderson, James Reynolds, Mac Keating, Josh Biscomme McNamee, Flash Millward, Sean O’Sullivan, Patrick Angling, Sean Carey, James Mulvary, Alex Duff, Kevin Varga
Interchange: Rory Wood, Jack O’Brien, Peter Flanagan, Nathan Kiernan, Cormac Murphy
Scotland man of the match: Lucas Reid
Ireland man of the match: Sam Cullen
Referee: Luke Fenton