England Under 18 beat Scotland Under 18 25-12 to progress to the FIRA/AER European Championship final where they will meet the host nation France in Grenoble at the Stade des Alpes on Saturday.
Two Josh Sharp penalties and an Andrew Hughes try, converted by Sharp, gave England a 13-0 lead at the break, with visions of their 53-13 win against the same opposition earlier in the month starting to return.
The outlook for Scotland looked no better as Howard Packman, who has been showing the cameras the England camp this week, waltzed through their defence just a couple of minutes into the second half, Sharp again converted to leave England 20-0 up.
A third try soon came through Brighton Collegeâ€™s James Chisholm, who dotted down after a huge driving mail, a part of Englandâ€™s game that had been dominant all day. Sharp missed the conversion but it left England 25-0 up and in control.
Scotland showed great heart and determination though to prevent England turning a dominant position into anything more, and scored two tries themselves, the first from Oakham Schoolâ€™s Ruaraidh Smith, to bring the scores to 25-12 at the final whistle.
England will now play France in the final on Saturday, with Scotland playing Ireland in the 3rd/4th place play off ahead of the final at the same venue, Grenobleâ€™s Stade des Alpes.
After the game Englandâ€™s Head Coach John Fletcher said:
â€œI thought that overall we were quite poor to be honest, we didnâ€™t play to the standard that we expect and weâ€™ll have improve on that ahead of the final on Saturday. Massive credit to Scotland â€“ they were physical, passionate and they played with real intent.â€
Scotlandâ€™s Head Coach Eddie Pollock said:
“Compared to the last time we met, this was a real game of rugby; our scrum was excellent, there was great defensive work and we came right back at them in the last fifteen minutes.”
Â “We’ve come on in leaps and bounds in the last few weeks and I thought we played pretty well. We just need to play more at this level.”
15. Howard Packman (Northampton Saints & Moulton College)â€¨14. Tom Howe (London Wasps & Shiplake College)â€¨13. Nick Tompkins (Saracens & Oaklands College)â€¨12. Rory Jennings (Bath Rugby & Bryanston School)â€¨11. Tom Fowlie (London Irish & St Paul’s Catholic College)â€¨10. Josh Sharp (Saracens & Oaklands College)â€¨9. Stuart Townsend (Exeter Chiefs & Ivybridge College)
1. Luke Chapman (Exeter Chiefs & Truro College)â€¨2. Jack Walker (Leeds Carnegie & Prince Henryâ€™s Grammar)â€¨3. Paul Hill (Leeds Carnegie & Prince Henryâ€™s Grammar)â€¨4. Jordan Onojaife (Northampton Saints & Stowe School)â€¨5. Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby & Bryanston School)â€¨6. Andrew Hughes (Sale Sharks & Hartpury College)â€¨7. Andrew Boyce (Worcester Warriors & Kings Worcester)â€¨8. James Chisholm (Harlequins & Brighton College) (c).
Replacements: 16. Sam James (Saracens & Bishops Stortford) â€¨17. Lewis Boyce (Leeds Carnegie & Prince Henryâ€™s Grammar)â€¨18. Neale Farthing (Leicester Tigers & Wyggeston & Queen Elizabeth College)â€¨19. Josh Peters (Northampton Saints & Oundle School) 20. Matt Bolwell (Exeter Chiefs & Truro College) â€¨21. James Mitchell (Sale Sharks & Lymm School) 22. Josh Skelcey (Northampton Saints & Moulton College) 23. Louis Clayton-Molloy (London Wasps & Harrow School).
15. Gavin Parker (Merchiston Castle School/Biggar)Â 14. Ruaraidh Smith (Oakham School) 13. Richard Taylor (Loretto/Melrose) (c) 12. Rory Watt (Edinburgh Accies) 11. Iain Sim (Duns) 10. Henry Slater (Merchiston Castle School) 9. Luke Earle-Wright (Robert Gordon’s College/Aberdeen GSFP) 1. Reece Patterson (North Berwick HS) 2. Ross Graham (Hawick PSA) 3. Angus Wallace (Aberdeen GSFP) 4. Lewis Carmichael (North Berwick HS/North Berwick)Â 5. Neil Irvine-Hess (George Watson’s College) 6. Scott Burnside (North Berwick HS) 7. Rory Simpson (Edinburgh Academy) 8. Ally Miller (George Watson’s College).
Replacements: 16. Grant Stewart (Dalziel)17. Cameron Fenton (Strathallan/Howe of Fife) 18. Rory Mason (Ashfield Academy/Paviors) 19. James Ritchie (Strathallan) 21. Ben Johnston (Marr College) 22. Ben Vellacott (Ivybridge College/Barnstable) 23. James Lang (London Scottish) 24. Archie Russell (Stirling County) 25. Angus Rennie (Gordon Schools Huntly/Aberdeen GSFP) 26. Gavin Lowe (Ayr).