London Skolars U19 (6) 10
Tries: Scott, Lawrence Goals: Lawrence
Scotland U19 (12) 32
Tries: Kerr 3, Hogg 2, Weir Goals: Hogg 4
Watched by a healthy crowd at New River Stadium, including members of the London Skolars’ and Hemel Stags’ first team, who played their Super-8s match the following the curtain raiser, Scotland claimed a well fought victory against London Skolars U19s 32-10.
It was a strong start from the Scotland U19s side who opened the scoring inside 60seconds after an offload from hooker Alex Williams to debutant hat-trick scorer, Will Kerr. The former Canterbury Bulldogs junior scored under the posts setting up a straightforward conversion attempt for captain Matt Hogg.
Skolars held their own thereafter with some strong attacking play which nearly saw them go close, a strong kick chase after near the young Bravehearts own line slightly too strong and marshalled out by Scotland winger Patrick Noutch.
The 20m restart saw Scotland break the line and go 50m in 3 tackles only to lose the ball and Skolars returned the favour and found themselves with the ball 20m out again but turned the ball over in similar fashion.
Skolars crossed the line after 15 minutes when Tom Scott buried his way over from dummy half, scrum half Alfie Lawrence converting bringing the scores level in a closely contested match to this point.
Defence was the key with some quality tackles from both sides but it was Scotland who were next to capitalise, after forcing Skolars to drop out and having a try chalked off for offside, it was the light footwork of prop forward Calum Weir who danced though some lackadaisical defence and finished under the posts; Hogg adding the extras.
Scotland arguably could have gone into the break with a more comfortable but for a double movement from fullback Callum Kennedy and a clanger from previous try scorer Kerr, who dropped the ball in clear space after not quite holding on to the pass in support play. But it was the Bravehearts that went to the sheds 12-6 in the lead
Scotand’s attack was the difference between the two sides in the second half but it was a London mistake from the restart, which gave Scotland the first chance. A knock on at the kick off and the resulting drop out gave Scotland the ball and in a play identical to the very first in the match, Matt Hogg crossing for the first of his brace after just 53seconds and converting his own try.
London quickly responded with a very well worked try from Alfie Lawrence, whom dived on his own grubber kick, his conversion attempt wide of the mark. Second Rower Sean McKervail went off with an ankle injury
Scotland’s fourth try, and Kerr’s second, made up for his mistake late in the first half, scored after a break from halfway to go under the sticks, Hogg easily converting. Kerr scored his hat-trick try soon after with a lovely break from London Broncos’ Caley Gray from 70m out who found the supporting Kerr just on his inside.
Hogg scored his second after Scotland kept the ball alive down the left hand side putting the ball through the hands, Skolars looked to have put Callum Kennedy in touch but somehow managed to create an offload where Hogg was perfectly placed to take advantage.
As Skolars stepped up their attack, Scotland’s defence matched them. Skolars sustained attack had Scotland pinned on their own line and after eight repeat sets they looked like they could score at any point, but just couldn’t find the line. Scotland lost Timmy Kennedy to concussion, leaving the Bravehearts with just one man left on the bench. Full time in North London, Scotland U19s 32-10 London Skolars U19s.
1. Callum Kennedy, 2. Patrick Noutch, 3. Clayton Woods, 4. Timmy Kennedy, 5. Alfie Edwards, 6. Matt Hogg, 7. Will Kerr, 8. Connor Meikle, 9. Alex Williams, 10. Cammy Harrison, 11. Luke Drummond, 12. Sean McKervial, 13. Caley Gray, 14. Calum Weir, 15. Aidan Giblett, 16. Conal Macdonagh