Scottish Rugby News and Opinion


Scotland U20 30-17 Italy U20

Scotland chalked up their first victory of this year’s 6 Nations under- 20 championship with a spirited  perfromance against Italy at Netherdale, Galashiels, writes Stuart MacLennan.

​A nervy opening 15 minutes witnessed errors from both teams, with the Scots in particular failing to commit to high balls and Italy unable to recycle anything that resembled quick ball. An Italian penalty goal was cancelled out instantly thanks to a serene step and try from South-African based Scotland fly-half Tommy Allan who converted to make the score 7-3 to the home side.

Some sterling back row graft from the likes of Will Bordill and Adam Ashe allowed Scotland to form a base with which to mount sustained attacks and a further penalty from Allan on the stroke of half-time was minimal reward for a few exciting passages of play; tormentor-in-chief Mark Bennett was at the heart of much of it, breaking and snarling through the gain-line at will.

The half-time score was Scotland U20 10-3 Italy U20.

​ The second forty minutes began in the same fashion as both sides struggles to settle quickly, with driving rain adding to the difficulty of conditions. Allan again stretched Scotland’s lead with a three-pointer and a 58th-minute sin-binning for Italy’s replacement Marcello Violi allowed the Scots’ number 10 to take it to 16-3. Roughly 800 spectators were eagerly willing Scotland to put the game to bed before Italy could restore a full compliment to the pitch and the home side duly delivered.

Scotland’s Damien Hoyland popped up on the right wing to finish of a confident play which was the least he deserved following a disallowed first half effort. Replacement Alex Hagart landed a tricky conversion to make it 23-3 after 65 minutes.

The final stages combined tiredness and desperation from both sides to force a result and although captain Jonny Gray’s deserved 79th minute try was sanwiched by two Italian whitewash crossings, the Netherdale crowd were treated to a convincing and mature win for Scotland’s young warriors. Bennett received Man-of-the Match for his industrious display and few could argue with that decision.

FULL TIME Scotland U20 30-17 Italy U20.

Report by Stuart MacLennan

And here are some highlights of the match, courtesy of the good folks at Borders Rugby TV:

26 Responses

  1. I was at the match and enjoyed it hugely. Some good players for the future. The only blot was the low turnout to cheer on the lads – for pete’s sake, the match was even free!

  2. DC, there were to other competitive games in the Borders that night. Plus there were only 3 Borderers playing (2 if you take into accounts that C.Auld comes from Dumfries), so why would the Borders people want to to support the Scottish game at all?!

    1. Help ma boab- this is taking separatism to a whole new level. Unbelievable. Going to try and do the extra miles and make it down from Aberdeen early to support the SCOTLAND under 20s on the Ireland weekend.

    2. Thats the same attitude that saw the Reivers fold. Its sad to see an area with such tradition fail to see past its town tribalism.

    3. Dave – very true. All talk I have heard about the location of a possible 3rd pro team has been about locations in the North. Bigger population base was one of the reasons but the above attitude was spoken about at length.

      I would rather it went south, easier for me to get to and support being in Glasgow, but I dont think that would happen. If the SRU are going to foot the bill to start up a 3rd team they would need to do so in a place where they have the best chance of survival. Comments like the above do not help the case for the borders.

  3. @ Talk some sense DC

    YOU sir, are part of the problem we have with the Scottish game. That was an outrageous and pathetic post. This is not an Auld wendyball game! Get a grip!

  4. “so why would the Borders people want to to support the Scottish game at all?!”

    Maybe because the Borders are actually part of Scotland, and the Borderers have been supporting Scottish rugby since the year dot?

  5. Fri 22nd Feb 13, KO 19:30
    Netherdale, Galashiels
    Scotland U20s v Ireland U20s

    I will be promoting this game. unfortunately I have tickets to the Glasgow-Ulster game.

    Next game is..
    Fri 8th Mar 13, KO 19:35
    Caledonian Football Club, Inverness
    Scotland U20s v Wales U20s

  6. Andy- I reckoned there were about 800 there. Having been at many a game over the years I would suggest that the attendance was nowhere near 2000!

  7. MJW, you are an absolute fool.. The main reason Borderers won’t support the SRU as they pulled the plug for the Borders. Simple!

    1. Yes, and they pulled the plug from another place as well but that has not turned them into self loathing idiots. Grow up.

    2. By supporting the u20s, you’re not supporting the SRU – the tickets were free for goodness’ sake. You’re supporting the best young players that Scotland has to offer as they go out and put their bodies on the line for their country.

      Have some class, man.

    3. “The main reason Borderers won’t support the SRU as they pulled the plug for the Borders. Simple!”

      Yes, it’s a simple circular argument. And what were the other two MOMENTOUS Borders game on that night that had emptied the Borders towns of everybody?

  8. And as for you David Dailly, you’ll probably be one of these ar*ehole critics that do nothing better than comment about rugby and support your area that haven’t played any rugby at all or at very low level.. so therefore that gives you no room to speak at all!

    1. Nope. I support rugby form a Scottish stand point first and foremost. 2nd to that I turn out to show support for my local team, Glasgow. If I could get my gf into comeing with me I would go to the the non pro sides to show support also. But that does not mean that I don’t support them. Every chance I get I try to get my cousins etc involved in rugby. I recently, this weekend, told my sister to get her three wee girls off to a club. SHe lives in Duns which, I am sure you know, is in the borders. I also offered to meet my brother in law to take him and the girls to the Scotland U20 game against Italy. I usualy buy them tickets for the Embra-Glasgow 1872 every year.

      Also, I am trying to get the company I work for to make Scotland/club rugby tickets part of the prizes for performance etc.

      Anyway, even if I was the kind of Twat that you tried to make me out to be, at LEAST I dont have your attitude.

    1. ‘Twas “Talk some sense DC” who was being rude, not “DC” (me)!

      For the record, I live in the Borders. I will also be going to the Under 20s against Ireland game too. I regret TssDC’s comments; it’s not an uncommon one but I think (or like to, anyway) he’s in a minority.

      The other nice thing about going the other night was seeing some rugby greats coming along – JJ (he looks like he could still make himself useful on the pitch) and Mighty Mouse (getting on a bit but still a strong schoolboy memory).

  9. Righty, both sides have had their wee handbag moment. Time to get back to what maters. Rugby.

    I hope some of the boys that have been playing for the U20’s find themselves with full time pro contracts, or at least EDP’s. Does anyone know if these boys have representation at the SRU to help them secure places at other pro clubs?

  10. A good write-up of a decent result. The Borders seems like the perfect place for this sort of game; Drum up / keep interest in the area while promising young players get experience of a higher level.

    1. Agreed. Would love to see a new borders pro team. Some good guys from that way are in the Glasgow (my team) and Embra set up.

      Having said that….While the borders do give us an over-the-odds amount of good players, I feel that up North is where they would first establish a new pro team. Population base is much larger, more accesible and a VERY significant amount of the hospitality tickets & boxes come from AB postal code.

      If the team was set up in the borders then I would be able to support two pro teams :-)

  11. Hey, Talk some sensE AC/DC
    Since when does playing rugby give you the sole right to discuss it. There are many of us who never played seriously but who love the game and put hours into helping out in youth and senior rugby, and pounds into supporting pr o or international teams.
    Grow a brain lad.

  12. Went down to the -20 England v Scotand game unbelievable support ,sponsors Sky TV ,Sold out game ,music ,entertainment ,lively bars, catering, free face painting for all supporters really buzzing .
    Then ……..Gala what a let down, No Professionalism what so ever ,sh**e venue ,not even a decent program or bar or food come on Scotland is this the best we can do ,(we look the poor relations all round )
    let’s celebrate these games & get the youngsters involved ,leave you club politics behind ,We dont care what club your from and where you live, are you infact Scottish .? Your attitude is shameful Be vocal just attend and Support your Nation with pride and let’s hear some noise for our stars of the future ……See you in Inverness

  13. Anybody actually going to Inverness and support our boys apart from us and Rory then ?

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Scottish Rugby News and Opinion