- Nine-try England Under 20 defeat Scotland
- It was a real team performance tonight – Ford
Scotland Under 20 3 England Under 20 59
England Under 20 kicked off their Six Nations campaign with an impressive nine try 59-3 win against Scotland at Firhill, Glasgow.
A first half hat-trick from wing Marland Yarde, two tries from back row Jack Clifford, a penalty try, one from Anthony Watson and two from Charlie Walker secured the win, as captain and man of the match George Ford kicked over twelve points.
Scotland started the brighter of the two sides and after a strong break by wing Jamie Farndale were rewarded with a penalty just outside of the 22 which was converted by fly half Harry Leonard.
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With ten on the clock Ford opted to kick a makeable penalty into touch, but the decision was rewarded as a fine team move culminated in Yarde diving over in the corner. Ford’s tough conversion made the score 7-3.
Minutes later and England had their second try of the evening, Harlequins prop Kyle Sinckler offloaded to Yarde, and his pace freed up Clifford to touch down between the posts leaving Ford with a simple conversion.
England’s third try came through Yarde, but only after Ford’s nimble footwork freed up some space and an expansive cross-field move eventually set the London Irish man up for his second try.
It wasn’t long before Yarde grabbed his hat-trick, after again showing great pace and a tidy step to pick his way through the Scottish defence.
The fifth try came courtesy of the referee’s discretion when he awarded England a penalty try after some great work from the pack and Ford kicked over the extras with ease to make it 31-3 heading into half time.
Five minutes into the second half Clifford was sin-binned for an offence on the floor, and the man advantage put Scotland on the front foot. The home side were unlucky not to score their first try of the evening when they had men over in the corner, but a superb cover tackle from Leeds’ Chris Walker forced the knock on and England remained unbroken.
Seventeen year old Anthony Watson entered the fray with 54 minutes played, and by the time the clock had ticked onto 56 he had his first Under 20 try. Calm handling freed up the London Irish youngster who shrugged off two challenges before bursting over the try-line in emphatic fashion.
Photo: Getty Images
England’s final three tries came within ten minutes of each other as Scotland tired, first Charlie Walker showed good pace before offloading to Clifford for his second before the favour was returned as Watson broke free to tee up Walker for his first of the night.
Walker’s second and England’s last came soon after. Scotland’s attack broke down and Ford picked up in his own half before kindly passing to the Quins wing to score with England 56 points clear at 59-3.
England Under 20 Head Coach Rob Hunter said: “Scotland were very competitive as we knew they would be. Our back line showed how experienced they are tonight with some very well taken tries. This was always going to be a tough game and it’s great to get the win – we’ll enjoy this for 24 hours before focussing all of our attentions onto Italy next week.”
George Ford added: “It’s great to kick our Six Nations off with a win here in Scotland – we knew that it wouldn’t be an easy place to come and that proved to be the case. There are a few cuts and bruises in the changing room but we’re really happy to get the win. It was a real team performance tonight and everyone played their part, the hard work paid off but there’s still a long way to go.”
Tries: Marland Yarde 3, Jack Clifford 2, Penalty Try 1, Anthony Watson 1, Charlie Walker 2.
Conv: George Ford 6
England Under 20 starting XV v Scotland
15) Ben Ransom (Saracens)
14) Marland Yarde (London Irish)
13) Elliot Daly (London Wasps)
12) Ryan Mills (Gloucester)
11) Charlie Walker (Harlequins)
10) George Ford (C) (Leicester Tigers)
9) Dan Robson (Gloucester)
1) Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs)
2) Koree Britton (Gloucester)
3) Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins)
4) Tom Price (Leicester Tigers)
5) George Merrick (Harlequins)
6) Matt Kvesic (Worcester Warriors)
7) Chris Walker (Leeds Carnegie)
8) Jack Clifford (Harlequins)
16) Scott Spurling (Saracens) on for Koree Britton 68 mins
17) Alec Hepburn (London Wasps) on for Luke Cowan-Dickie 61 mins
18) Ross Harrison (Sale Sharks) on for Kyle Sinckler 61 mins
19) Elliot Stooke (Gloucester) on for Jack Clifford 75 mins
20) Will Skuse (Bath Rugby) on for Matt Kvesic 65 mins
21) Alex Day (Northampton Saints) on for Dan Robson 71 mins
22) Tom Heathcote (Bath Rugby) on for Elliot Daly 65 mins
23) Anthony Watson (London Irish) on for Ben Ransom 54 mins