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Interception tries decisive for Counties Under 20s

05 May 2012

  • Five-try victory boosts Scotland for World Cup
  • Counties Under 20s pay for forcing the pace
James Stokes breaks a tackle

Photo: RFU Archive

England Counties Under 20s hopes of avenging a narrow inaugural match defeat by Scotland Under 20s in Leeds last year were unfulfilled in a robust tussle at St Andrew’s University tonight, (Friday, May 4) where a brace of second-half interception tries helped to secure a 33-16 win for the Scottish side.

Scotland, well motivated by the fact that their squad for the Junior World Cup in South Africa is to be announced on Monday, claimed five tries and converted four of them to register their second win of the season after beating Italy earlier in the Six Nations Championship.

“I’m a bit disappointed because I thought the score flattered them a bit, but the lads represented their country with a lot of pride.” said England Coach Bob Hood. “When you’ve had four days to prepare, however good that work has been, against a group of lads heading for the World Cup who have been together for a number of weeks, it’s always going to be a tough test.

“We also had a player sin-binned and when we were trying to force the play later on, they scored two interception tries. At 19-16 we were still in the game, but two converted tries really did hurt us.

For an hour we were very competitive and our structure was very good, but a combination of injuries to a couple of players and the use of all our replacements meant that we lost some of our shape.

“Then things didn’t go our way in the closing stages, but we showed plenty of character in a very physical contest.”

Two penalties by fly-half James Stokes and a try by flanker Ben Vernon gave England an 11-5 half-time lead before Scotland hooker George Turner crossed for centre Jack Steel to convert for a 12-11 Scottish lead.

England responded with a try from replacement Mike Flook to recapture the advantage, but it was all Scotland from that point onward as tries by replacement Jamie Farndale and a brace from centre Tom Steven, all converted by Steel, saw the home side home.

England Counties Under 20s: Luke Daniels (Esher, Surrey & London & SE); Jim Wigglesworth (Hull, Notts, Lincs & Derby & Midlands), Heath Stevens (Coventry, East Midlands & Midlands), Huw Morgan (Chinnor, East Midlands & Midlands), De La Rey Veenendal (Cambridge, East Midlands & Midlands); James Stokes (Leicester Lions, Notts, Lincs & Derby & Midlands), Ross Kevan (Old Northamptons, East Midlands & Midlands); Adam Tamanis (Doncaster Phoenix, Yorkshire & North), Josh Woods (Sedgley Park, Lancashire & North), Sam Steventon (Oxford Harlequins, Oxfordshire & South West), Ben West (Cinderford, Gloucestershire & South West), Piers Phillips (Darlington Mowden Park, Yorkshire & North), Ben Morris (Blaydon, Yorkshire & North), Ben Vernon (Tarleton, Lancashire & North), Harris Casson (Hartpury College, Gloucestershire & South West) capt

Replacements: (all used)
Mike Flook (Kingswood, Somerset & South West), Nico Woodward (Cinderdford, Gloucestershire & South West), George Richardson (Syston, Leicestershire & Midlands), Sam Heygate (Loughborough Students, East Midlands & Midlands), Dan Lee (Barnstaple, Devon & South West), Joe Rowntree (Harrogate, Yorkshire & North), Jack Hayes (Hartpury College, Gloucestershire & South West), Joe Martin (Hull, Yorkshire & North).

Scotland Under 20s: Robbie Ferguson (Ayr); Harris Jones (Boroughmuir), Keith Buchan (Boroughmuir), Jack Steel (Dundee HSFP), Tom Steven (Glasgow Hawks); Finn Russell (Falkirk), Murray McConnell (Glasgow Warriors) capt; Jamie Bhatti (Stirling County), George Turner (Edinburgh Rugby), Gavin Robertson (Dundee HSFP), Adam Sinclair (Stirling County), Stuart Smith (Aberdeen Grammar Rugby), Gary Graham (Gala), Alex Henderson (Boroughmuir), Andrew Nagle (Jed-Forest).

Referee: M Raynal (FFR)