Scotland U19 defeated Japan National Schools at Inverleith on Sunday afternoon.
Scotland were 22-14 winners in the first of a double header against the Japanese, they will face them again this coming Sunday at Meggetland.
A Josh Henderson penalty gave Scotland the lead after just a couple of minutes, before Stewarts Melville wing duo Ross McCann and Ali Greig combined to send the latter over the whitewash on 24 minutes, which, along with Henderson’s conversion, gave the young Scots a 10-0 lead at the break.
Full back Bruce Sorbie channeled his inner Stuart Hogg early on after the break, scorching from inside his own half before offloading for McCann to score for a 15-0 lead.
Japan got themselves right back into the hunt with a double-whammy first through Tomoya Tamamura, followed by Kenta Matsuoka, both of which were converted by Yuhei Shimada, narrowing the gap to just a point, and caused a fair few nervous glances among the crowd of a few hundred.
Eventually though, after plenty of pressure, Scotland got that all-importantthird try, as McCann went over for his second, which Ewan Fox converted to give them a 22-14 victory.
The side had plenty of Exiles involved, especially in the pack where Hartpury College’s Alex Craig started at number 8, Worthing RFC’s Jamie Ure started in the second row, the tighthead spot was occupied by London Irish’s Daniel Winning, and Loughborough University’s former ISRFC Lambs’ looshead Ben Christie also started.
The back division was all based in Scotland, but the bench had two Kirkham Grammar School pupils, Jamie Ross and George Blackwell, as well as Sandbach’s George Bordill.
Speaking to www.scottishrugby.org after the game, Head Coach Don Caskie said:
“I’m very pleased to get the win. I thought they were two evenly matched sides who wanted to play rugby and there were some very good individual performances, which made a very good team performance.”
“These fixtures are very important for the guys, as they can put their hands up for the Under-20 World Cup and for next year’s Six Nations and I thought a lot of them did put their hands up and showed what they can do, so it now gives the Under-20s selectors something to look at.”
Scotland U19 XV:
15 Bruce Sorbie (GHA RFC)
14 Ali Greig (Stewarts Melville RFC)
13 Lewis Berg (George Watson’s College)
12 Grant Huggan (Hawick RFC)
11 Ross McCann (Stewarts Melville RFC)
10 Josh Henderson (Glasgow Hawks RFC)
9 Charlie Shiel (Currie RFC, captain)
1 Ben Christie (Loughborough University)
2 Fraser Renwick (Hawick RFC)
3 Daniel Winning (London Irish)
4 Jamie Ure (Worthing RFC)
5 Luke Crosbie (Currie RFC)
6 Andrew Grant-Suttie (GHA RFC)
7 Thomas Gordon (Currie RFC)
8 Alex Craig (Hartpury College/Gloucester)
Replacements (all used): Jamie Ross (Kirkham GS/Sale), Blair Robertson (Kelso RFC), Matthew Emmison (Aberdeenshire RFC), George Blackwell (Kirkham GS/Sale), George Bordill (Sandbach School/Sale), Andrew Simmers (Heriots RFC), Ewan Fox (High School of Dundee/Dundee High Rugby), Sean Chapman (Hawick RFC), Rob Kay (Heriots RFC), Hamish Bain (Currie RFC).