Scotland U18 lost their opening game of the 2015 U18 European Championship to host nation France.
The 22-10 defeat in Graulhet is a tough blow for Scotland in what was a poor day overall for the Home Unions, with Scotland, Wales, and Ireland all losing.
The positive for Scotland is that that likely puts them in pole position in the race for 5th place, their narrow defeat to France a better results than Ireland and Walesâ€™ defeats to Georgia and Italy respectively.
Scotland will face Portugal, who England beat 85-5 yesterday, giving them a great chance to reach the 5th place play off against the winner of Ireland v Wales.
Scotland were 10-3 down to France at half time yesterday, Edinburgh Academy fly half Blair Kinghorn slotting a penalty for the young Scots.
A much better second half saw George Watsonâ€™s wing Robbie Nairn cross to narrow the gap to just 15-10 with fifteen minutes remaining, with Kinghorn converting. France though took advantage of a Scottish yellow card to add another try, seeing the game out 22-10.
A number of English based players were in the squad, Abingdonâ€™s Michael Dewar starting at openside, with Sedberghâ€™s Jack Solman, Moulton Collegeâ€™s George Thornton, Alexander Craig of Hartpury College, Stoweâ€™s Gregor Haldane, and Henley Collegeâ€™s Connor Eastgate all on the bench.
Speaking after the game, Head Coach Eddie Pollock said:
Â â€œOur players did extremely well to stick in against what was a hugely physical and powerful French opposition. We played some really good rugby at times, scoring a fantastic try, and finishing the game well.â€
â€œHowever, we need to keep the ball in hand, cut out the errors and take the chances when we get them. At this level, the small margins become defining moments, yet this knowledge comes with experience.â€
â€œWe need to continue to learn and work hard, and build on the positives not only from this Test, but the matches against England and Ireland Schools (before the tournament) .We face Portugal on Tuesday in the next round of the competition, so we can now focus and look forward to that as our next task.â€
Scotland U18 XV:
15 Saul Melvin-Farr (Edinburgh Academy/Edinburgh Academicals)
14 Darcy Graham (Hawick High School/Hawick Wanderers)
13 Craig Pringle (Loretto School/Melrose)
12 Grant Huggan (Hawick Wanderers)
11 Robbie Nairn (George Watson’s College/Currie)
10 Blair Kinghorn (Edinburgh Academy/Edinburgh Academicals)
9 Andrew Simmers (Glasgow Academy/Glasgow Hawks)
1 Adam Nicol (Queen Anne High School/Dunfermline)
2 Fraser Renwick (Hawick High School/Hawick Wanderers)
3 Fergus Bradbury (Merchiston Castle School)
4 Hamish Bain (George Watson’s College/Currie)
5 Callum Hunter-Hill (Stewart’s Melville)
6 Matthew Fagerson (Strathallan School)
7 Michael Dewar (Abingdon School/Wasps)
8 Bruce Flockhart (Strathallan School/Highland)
16 Jack Solman (Sedbergh School)
17 George Thornton (Moulton College/Market Harborough)
18 Blair Robertson (Kelso Harlequins)
19 Luke Crosbie (Currie)
20 Alexander Craig (Hartpury College/Gloucester)
21 Charlie Shiel (Royal High School/RHC Cougars)
22 Gregor Haldane (Stowe School/Northampton Saints)
23 Ross McCann (Royal High School/RHC Cougars)
24 Connor Eastgate (Henley/Wasps)
25 Alastair Greig (Stewartâ€™s Melville College/Stewartâ€™s Melville)
26 Thomas Gordon (Currie)