Report: Scotland U18 v Wales U18
Scotland U18 Men fell narrowly short against Wales in their final 2023 U18 Six Nations Festival encounter at Energia Park, losing 35-29 in a pulsating, end-to-end match.
Scotland had plenty of ball in the opening minutes, and took the lead inside four minutes. Bart Godsell broke through in midfield, and his offload looked to be too low for Seb Stephen to catch. But the Aberdeen Grammar hooker brilliantly grabbed the ball at his feet and reached the line under the posts.
The young Scots struggled to get out of their own half from the restart, and in the 11th minute Wales opted to go for goal with a penalty around 35 metres out in front of the posts. Harri Wilde stepped up and reduced Scotland’s lead.
But Scotland soon had a penalty of their own in front of the posts, just outside the 22 as Wales were caught offside. Captain Jack Brown called for the kicking tee, and slotted it through to bring the lead back up to seven points.
Wales got a try of their own in the 16th minute. A break down the left saw Kodie Stone receive the ball in space, and he sprinted into the left hand corner.
Scotland pushed hard for a second score and got within metres of the line through Freddy Douglas and Jack Brown, but on both occasions Wales held firm.
And the Welsh took the lead in the 32nd minute, as Scotland were penalised for side entry in the ruck and Wilde kicked the penalty over from distance.
And Wales got a second try with the last play of the half as Scott Delnevo got the ball on the left and just managed to ground the ball under pressure from Thomas Russell.
Half time: Scotland U18 10-18 Wales U18
Scotland made the ideal start to the second half, as Wilde caught the kick off and Johnny Ventisei charged down his clearance attempt. The inside centre grabbed the loose ball and touched down beside the posts.
And Scotland soon grabbed a second try in just four minutes. With penalty advantage, Matthew Urwin kicked across to the left side and it fell perfectly for Samuel Rockley, who cut in slightly and wriggled free after he was tackled over the line to ground the ball.
But Wales hit back in the 43rd minute as a driving maul took Evan Wood over the line on the left hand side.
And in the 47th minute they were over the line once more as Steffan Emanuel broke the defensive line and touched down under the posts.
But in a very open game, Scotland were back in it in the 51st minute. Substitute Hector Patterson got close on the left side and two phases later Seb Stephen wrestled his way over for his second try of the game, and his third of the festival.
Wales picked up a fifth try in the 56th minute as a loose ball was hacked on by Wilde to a metre short, and a phase later Sam Scott carried over.
Despite a late push from Scotland for the converted try that would bring them the win, they couldn’t find the score and Wales held on for the win.
Full time: Scotland U18 29-35 Wales U18
Scotland U18: 15. Jack Brown CAPTAIN (George Watson’s College) 14. Fergus Watson (Biggar RFC) 13. Thomas Russell (Stewart’s Melville College) 12. Johnny Ventisei (St Aloysius/GHA RFC) 11. Samuel Rockley (London Irish/Bishop Wand/London Irish Academy) 10. Matthew Urwin (St Aloysius) 9. Hugo Alderson (Stewart’s Melville College) 1. Finlay Mcintosh (George Watson’s College) 2. Seb Stephen (Glenalmond College/Aberdeen Grammar RFC) 3. Keita Ando (SC Frankfurt 1880/Sedbergh) 4. Bart Godsell (Gloucester Academy/Marling) 5. Charlie Moss (Marlow Rugby/Shiplake College/Wasps) 6. Fraser Wilson (Gala RFC) 7. Freddy Douglas (Stewart’s Melville College) 8. Fergus Wood (George Heriot’s School)
Replacements: 16. Oliver McKenna (St Aloysius) 17. Mickey Kesson (Stirling County RFC) 18. Ollie Blyth-Lafferty (Boroughmuir RFC) 19. Nick Torkington (Stirling County RFC) 20. Finn Spurway (Glenalmond College) 21. Ollie Duncan (Edinburgh Academy) 22. Hector Patterson (Hawick RFC) 23. Isaac Coates (Merchiston Castle) 24. Lloyd McEwan-Peters (Yorkshire Academy/Wellington College) 25. Jack Hocking (Edinburgh Rugby) 26. Sam Leweni (Queen Victoria School)