On a wet and windy Sunday morning, the Scottish U17/18 team got 2016 off to a winning start away at Twickenham RFC. The match was played in difficult conditions but in a good spirit and it was a classic “game of two halves” and also a great way to welcome in the New Year.
Playing with the wind (and rain), Twickenham got the better of the first session, playing the majority of the half in Scottish territory. Despite an 8 – 1 penalty count against Scottish, the boys defended well, only conceding on two occasions when Twickenham pressure eventually left some holes in the Scottish line. However, Head Coach George, was confident that the second half would see a changing score line and the half-time chat was calm, measured and all about playing the conditions and remaining patient.
It took only five minutes of the second half for the first Scottish score. Early signs were good when a clever chip from Iain, allowed the chasers to put pressure on the Twickenham full back in the opposition 22. From the ensuing breakdown the ball was won and Cameron jinked his way in for the first Scottish try, which he then converted to bring the score to 12-7.
By now the forwards were dominating the opposition, strong in the scrum and retaining the ball well in phase play. It wasn’t long before the pressure told again. Raphael was dragged down just short of the line after a good move to the right wing. When the ball then came left, Cameron ran a direct line for his second converted score and the lead for the first time. With twenty minutes of the match remaining the Scottish supporters, despite being thoroughly soaked, were now confident that the team could go on and secure the victory.
With ten minutes remaining and with Demi sniping from scrum half and the forwards in complete control the team again rumbled forwards into the Twickenham half. Second-row Ka-cie saw the opportunity to break out of a ruck and despite having three defenders to beat, he sprinted to the line and rounded the full back for the final score. A finely judged conversion from Cameron meant that Scottish moved clear by nine points and the outcome was set.
Scottish continued to pressure the Twickenham line but could not secure a final score. However, a great display by the whole squad and a very pleasing victory. Well done to all!
Man of the match: Cameron McDonald
Max Gallagher; Doug McLaughlin; Charlie Kelly; Tawanda Nambureti; Robert Tapu; Ali McLaughlin; Ka-cie Addison; Brandon Babalola; Bola Docemo; Bruce Moffat; Sam Bastille; Miles Wakeling; Sami Cheqrouni-Espinar; Ross Ludlow; Findlay Brown; Demi Ajeigbe; Iain Rees; Raphael Letzelter; Josh Ferguson; Cameron McDonald; Harith Hawas; Andrew Fearn; Jack Bartrip; David Semu; Felix Owen.