Scotland U20 v Ireland U20: Match Guide
The 2023 Under-20 Six Nations concludes this weekend, and Scotland finish off their fixture list by hosting Italy at Scotstoun on Sunday 19 March, kick-off 2pm - live in BBC iPlayer.
Although Kenny Murray’s side were subject to a heavy loss in the previous round against potential Grand Slam-winning Ireland, the 2023 championship has been one peppered with some positivity. An outstanding opening performance at The Stoop against England saw Scotland threaten a huge upset before falling on the wrong end of a 41-36 thriller.
Scotland then went on to snatch an 18-17 victory over Wales at Scotstoun in the second round of games, earning a first victory in the competition since 2020 to back up a solid start to the championship.
Losses against arguably the two strongest teams in the table, France and Ireland, checked the young Scots’ progress, but a final match against an Italian side also seeking a second win of their own campaign is sure to offer great motivation to both sides.
Scotland U20 Head Coach, Kenny Murray, said ahead of Sunday’s game: “It was a really disappointing performance last week. Ireland are a good side but upon reflection, it was just a really poor performance for us.
“We want to come out this week and try restore a bit of pride, that’s what we’ve spoken about in terms of mindset this week. The boys are training well, working hard and taking the review on the chin, so can’t fault their efforts this week.
“We’ve now got to try and get a win; it’ll be a very tough game. Anyone who has watch Italy play at U20s know they’ve got probably the best set-piece in the competition, so it’s going to be a big battle up front. For us it’s really going out there and trying to match that physicality and putting a marker down in terms of how well we can play. The boys are looking forward to the challenge.”
GETTING TO KNOW YOUR U20s
We sat down with a few of the current Scotland U20 squad to chat about their rugby journey so far, and what makes them tick away from the game. For the final game of this year’s Under-20 Six Nations, it’s the turn of Jerry Blyth-Lafferty, the Boroughmuir Bears hooker, pictured below playing against Wales in February.
What do you like to in your spare time?
In my spare time I like to play a bit of golf with my brother.
What’s your first rugby memory?
My first rugby memory is probably going down to the back pitches at Boroughmuir with my dad and my younger brother when it was absolutely chucking it down, covered in mud and freezing cold!
What’s your journey to the U20s been like and what was the turning point where you would end up?
I’d say my journey to the U20s hasn’t been as straightforward as I would have liked. I used to play a different position at U18s but I think when I started playing I knew U20s could be achievable.
I was a hooker at U18s and then pretty late notice I got asked if I would be interested in playing loosehead prop. It was something that came as quite a surprise – I had only played a bit of loosehead in club rugby before so to do it internationally was quite daunting.
Who’s been the biggest influence in your rugby career so far and why?
I’d say the person who has had the biggest influence on my career so far had probably been my dad. From quite a young age he has helped me along with my journey and taught me that it never comes easy, there’s a lot of hard work that needs to be put in behind the scenes and discipline is a huge part of that.
- Scotland are the only nation yet to receive a yellow card in the U20 Six Nations this year, every other side has had a man sin binned at least twice; however, the Scots are the only team to have been shown a red card this campaign.
- Scotland have won one of their two home games in the U20 Six Nations this year (L1) and will be aiming to win twice at home in the same campaign for the first time since 2015 when they recorded victories in each of their three home matches.
- Scotland have won four of their six home games against Italy in the U20 Six Nations (L2), however they suffered defeat the last time they hosted the Azzurrini; the last four meetings between the sides in Scoltand have been decided by 10+ points, after the first two had seen the sides separated by fewer than five points.
- Only France (46) have made more dominant tackles in the U20 Six Nations this year than Italy (43), while Scotland have made the joint fewest of any nation (20); Scotland are one of just two teams to have made over 600 tackles overall in the Championship this year (607), making just one fewer than Wales (608).
Key match messages
- Please note there is no public parking available at Scotstoun Stadium on match-day, where possible we recommend using public transport to get to and from the games.
- If you are being dropped off by car there is a dedicated Drop Off Zone, sign-posted on the left hand side as you enter the Stadium Campus. This space should be used for drop-offs and collections, rather than on the main road on Danes Drive.
- Scotstoun is located in a residential area, please respect our neighbours when arriving and leaving the stadium, and please be mindful of parking in the surrounding areas.
- Please note due to changes in local licensing, in addition to the usual restricted items no sealed (or unsealed) bottles of water or soft drinks up to 500ml will be permitted to be brought into the stadium on matchdays. This also includes refillable bottles which will not be allowed into the stadium.
- All bottles purchased at a catering unit will also require to be decanted into plastic tumblers moving forwards.
This evening’s match is available to watch live on BBC iPlayer, kick-off 2pm