Scotland U18 benefit from Italy and Wales tests in the Stirling sunshine
This week Scotland Under-18 have trained with Italy and Wales, culminating in a development tournament at Bridgehaugh.
Scotland defeated Wales 15-0 and lost out narrowly to Italy 35-30. All the games lasted 45 minutes with several set rules in place, such as no conversions, to help increase ball in play time and make the game flow freely.
Scotland started brightly in the first game against Wales and led 5-0 at the break thanks to a try from Dara Falope. In what became a feisty encounter, Wales went close to levelling the scores midway into the second period but they dropped the ball over the line following a promising move. Scotland then made it 10-0 through Glen Crawford. On the stroke of the final whistle Scotland rounded off the game with a stunning try on the wing where Henry Thomas sped down the line and was able to touch down, giving Scotland a 15-0 victory.
In Scotland’s second match of the afternoon, they took on Italy in a frenetic encounter in the Bridgehaugh sunshine.
At the break Scotland were down 20-10 after battling back from conceding two early tries.
Early in the second period, Scotland scored three impressive tries from open play and piled the pressure on Italy who always led the scoreboard. With 10 minutes to go in the game, Scotland levelled the scores 30-30. As the game began to open up, Scotland played an expansive style and were able to take advantage of space created on the field. In one of the final passages of play Italy scored the final try of the match to run out 35-30 winners.
Head coach Ross Miller was satisfied with the day and afterwards said: “Training opportunities don’t get much better than this.
“We ran 45 minute games and were able to change a number of players throughout the games to expose our players to a different style of rugby and challenge them to make decisions in difficult situations.”
With one win and one loss across the day’s play, Miller placed more focus on other aspects of the game rather than purely the scoreline.
He said: “One of the main focusses of today was to develop our core skills under pressure, both sides of the ball. We wanted to increase the intensity of our attack and have multi-options. Defensively we want to be a difficult team to breakdown and transition was another key aspect that we would judge the day on outwith the scoreline.
“Both sides offered different threats and that allowed both games to be different in terms of the style. That was great for our players and we really want to grow this development tournament concept. All of the coaches were really happy with how today went with the score not really at the forefront of importance as everyone’s eyes are on the longer term development of these players.
“These guys will be highly motivated going back into their clubs and schools so we’ll keep tracking and working with them. The next national camp will be in December and from there we’ll be preparing for the 6 Nations Festival at the end of March in Ireland.”
Thursday, 11 August 2022, Bridgehaugh – Stirling County RFC
Scotland 15-0 Wales
Wales 20-15 Italy
Scotland 30-35 Italy
Scotland Under-18 Squad
Ben White * (Peebles RFC / Peebles High School)
Ollie Bowden (GHA RFC / Belmont House School)
Ollie Mckenna (GHA RFC / St Aloysius’ College)
Rob Cromar * (Howe of Fife RFC / Strathallan School)
Ollie Blyth Lafferty * (Boroughmuir RFC / Boroughmuir High School)
Ben Nehring * (Mackie RFC / Portlethen Academy)
Euan Robertson (Merchiston Castle School)
Oliver Duncan * (Edinburgh BATs Rugby / Edinburgh Academy)
Murray Oliver * (Kirkcaldy RFC)
Lewis Ferguson (Dumfries Saints)
Joss Arnold * (Loretto School)
Glen Crawford * (Merchiston Castle School)
Freddy Douglas * (Stewart’s Melville College)
Fergus Wood * (North Edinburgh Vikings / George Heriot’s School)
Euan McGeoch (Boroughmuir / Boroughmuir High School)
Brodie Macdonald (Darlington College)
Lachlan Graham * (Preston Lodge High School)
Mickey Kesson (Stirling County)
Angus Hunter (Dollar Academy) **
Hector Patterson * (Hawick RFC / Jedburgh Grammar School)
Isaac Coates * (Merschiston Castle School)
Sam Leweni (Queen Victoria School)
Matthew Urwin * (West Of Scotland FC / St Aloysius’)
Kerr Yule * (West Of Scotland FC / Boclair Academy)
Benjamin Roger * (North Edinburgh Vikings / Stewart’s Melville College)
Lloyd McEwan-Peters (Prince Henry’s Otley)
Logan Williams (Howe of Fife/Madras College)
Johnny Ventesi * (GHA RFC / St Aloysius’ College)
Archie Rankin * (Perthshire RFC / Strathallan School)
Henry Thomas (North Edinburgh Vikings / Loretto School
Pat Spence * (West Of Scotland FC / Douglas Academy
Fergus Watson * (Biggar RFC / Biggar High School)
Jack Brown * (George Watson’s College)
Hugo Alderson (Stewart’s Melville College)
Dara Falope (Rugby School)
Jack Craig * (Ayr)
*FOSROC Scottish Rugby Academy Player Supported Players
** Not available due to injury