SCOTLAND Under-18s backed up Saturday’s success over England with another impressive victory over France at Cardiff Arms Park yesterday evening [Thursday] in the Six Nations Rugby Festival.
France raced into a 10-0 lead before Scotland bounced back with a try from Merchiston Castle full-back Rufus McLean, plus a conversion and a penalty from fly-half Dan Lancaster.
The young Scots then grabbed the lead when Stewart’s Melville winger Jack Blain crossed for his third score in two games, and Lancaster converted again to make it 17-10 at the break.
McLean grabbed his second at the start of the second half, and Lancaster was once again on target with his conversion.
France hit back with a try and two penalties, but Scotland had done enough to secure the win and now play Ireland in their final game in Cardiff on Sunday afternoon.
“It was very windy, difficult conditions today and the boys, tactically, played that really well in the first-half into the wind and that probably set them up for the second-half,” said head coach Iain Monaghan afterwards.
“In the second-half a lot more pressure came on them but they didn’t lose sight of the objective and game-plan, and defended well towards the end to secure the win.
Spoilt for choice
“We made 11 changes today and the focus over the two games and the warm-ups was to play most of the players, so it now makes selection very difficult for Sunday’s game against Ireland.
“One of our key goals is to keep learning from the experiences we get and they are quite a tight bunch. The preparation has probably pulled them closer together.
“We’ll approach Sunday’s game like all the others: we’ll do our homework on Ireland and have a really good look at ourselves. The boys will be pretty disappointed in their second-half performance and will be wanting to make amends for that on Sunday.”
Scotland team –
15. Rufus McLean (Merchiston Castle School)
14. Femi Sofolarin (Dulwich College / Harlequins)
13. Matthew Currie (Merchiston Castle School)
12. Paul Cunningham (George Watson’s College)
11. Jack Blain (Stewart’s Melville College / Stewarts Melville RFC)
10. Dan Lancaster (Yorkshire Carnegie / Bishop Burton College)
9. Kristian Kay (Stowe School / Wasps)
1. Thomas Jeffrey (Peebles)
2. Scott Clelland (Ayr)
3. Alex Pleasants (The Henley College / Wasps)
4. Cameron Brown (Kelso)
5. Cameron Henderson (Strathallan School)
6. Gavin Wilson (Dumfries Saints)
7. Connor Boyle CAPTAIN (Stewart’s Melville College / Stewart’s Meville RFC)
8. Archie Smeaton (Yorkshire Carnegie / Hymers College)
16. Rory Jackson (Edinburgh Academy)
17. Alex Maxwell (Brooksby Melton College / Leicester Tigers)
18. Daniel Gamble (Kelso / Merchiston Castle School)
19. Tom Morris (Dollar Academy)
20. Jack Hill (Sedbergh School)
21. Jamie Dobie (Merchiston Castle School)
22. Nathan Chamberlain (Bristol / SGS College)
23. Scott Robeson (George Heriot’s School)
24. Rory Darge (Borders College / Melrose)
25. Robbie McCallum (Loretto School)
26. Charlie Hudson (St Peter’s, York)