Scottish Rugby News and Opinion


Scotland U20 29-9 Argentina U20

Scotland Logo © SRU - used with permission

Scotland today produced their first victory of the U20 World Championship, defeating Argentina 29-9. Tries from Robbie Nairn, Lewis Wynn and Richard Galloway, coupled with a decent kicking game from Blair Kinghorn meant that Argentina’s trio of penalties was not enough to steal victory in Italy.

With the Pumas coming within a penalty of beating New Zealand last week, the pressure was on Scotland to produce a strong result or risk demotion to the second tier of age-grade rugby, the Junior World Trophy.

Despite being underdogs, it was Scotland who started off the strongest with clever kicks from Kinghorn allowing the team to use some newly-discovered ball retention skills to put pressure on the Argentine defence.

Two Kinghorn penalties gave Scotland the early lead, the latter of which came from a scrum, an area of the game usually viewed as a weakness in this team.

Argentine Luciano Gasparro was given a yellow after 15 minutes for an accumulation of penalties and although Kinghorn took the three points, fly-half Miotti put the score up to 9-3.

Miotti added another three although the Scots can count themselves lucky that this was the extent of Argentine scoring; Blair Hutchison prevented an all but certain try by diving on a hack through and strong defence from Galloway meant that Scotland remained in control of the game.

Opportunities were limited for the Scots although Paddy Kelly and Magnus Bradbury both proved strong in attack. Kinghorn had an opportunity to extend his side’s lead to six before half time after another scrum penalty although his attempted skewed wide of the right post.

Half Time: Scotland U20 9 6 Argentina U20

Kinghorn got Scotland off to the best possible start with a penalty from the kick-off, although Argentina were soon on the front foot with ball in the opposition 22.

Kelly, however, made a good steal and from the clearance, the Argentinian back three spilt a ball allowing Nairn to pick up the ball. He gave a quick pass to Kelly who then offloaded to Hutchison who, after breaking the tackle, passed the ball back to Nairn who crossed under the posts for his first U20 try. Kinghorn’s conversion gave Scotland a 19-6 lead after just 45 minutes.

Scotland continued to control possession and territory with Bradbury and Fagerson making strong breaks and some more points seemed likely. Although Alex Coombs dropped the ball as he lunged for the line, the Scots soon had possession and a great miss pass from Hutchison put Galloway in the corner for another try.

Two more and Scotland would have the bonus point, allowing them to remain in a commanding position in the latter stages of the tournament.

The third try did came, although Scotland had to wait to the 70th minute; a strong driving lineout with flanker Wynn at the bottom meant that Scotland now led 29-9.

Alas, the final try was not to come with Scotland stuck in their own half with the Argentinian defence holding strong. The win puts Scotland in third place in their pool and they will now wait for the results of other matches which will determine their opposition for the next round.

Full Time: Scotland U20 29-9 Argentina U20

SRBlog Man of the Match: Kinghorn’s kicking from hand was vital, although a few skewed conversions were unhelpful. Bradbury carried well and Fagerson helped hold the scrum up well, although for his excellent work rate and ball carrying, centre Paddy Kelly must be congratulated.

22 Responses

  1. Great news for our boys and I believe we matched Ireland loosing by only the finest of margins. I’m a bit concerned about the heavy defeat at the hands of NZ. This is the only game I watched and I just about fell ogf my seat at how poor we were. Maybe we just had to find our feet or it was a one off bad result. Lets hope some tof these young players will be world class stars in the future.

    1. We got pumped by France opening game of 6 Nations and improved. Same in JWC. Looks like we’re just slow starters. Although Oz will be a test again. Bradbury, Kinghorn, Nairn, Fagerson, Ritchie, Hutchison, Coombes all on pro contracts. That shows in their performance. Although its a team game the amatuer players, Murray McCallum and Irvine-Ness, in particular have played very well.

      1. We also fielded a weaker side against NZ – with 3 games in 8 days sides like Scotland will always struggle to put out strong sides in every game because they don’t have the depth of countries with better professional structures.

  2. The most pleasing things about this under-20 group is the strength of the pack. They seem to get at least one try from a lineout maul a game and absolutely beasted their Irish opponents back in the 6N. They’ve got great prospects in just about every forward position. Really looking forward to seeing them come through the ranks over the next few years.

    1. We beasted the Irish again up front when we played them last week. Poor handling let us down. Still annoys me slightly when you have a nosey around other countries blogs and forums (Ireland and Wales particulary) and they still think that they beat Scotland because their team played so poorly. Nothing to do of course that Scotland, shock horror!!..actually have a decent team that can play rugby when it all comes together.

  3. Having watched all three games so far (fantastic from BT Sport btw), I have to say I am very pleased for the boys to get this result. Although they were well beaten against New Zealand, they absolutely battered Ireland and only poor handling in the last 5m cost them the game.

    Highlights for me were Kinghorn’s massive boot and great tactical kicking. Magnus Bradbury bringing the A-game we saw during the U20 Six Nations;he was poor against Ireland. Zander again showing he is an absolute beast in the scrum, but also clearing out like a champ and winning two (?) turnovers.

    The boys are still lacking the clinical edge of the likes of NZ, with most of them guilty of forcing it at some point, but I’ll chalk that down to them being as surprised as me that we actually have a decent youth team all of a sudden!

    I was disappointed not to see too much of Richie, but I believe he is carrying an injury. I feel it’s also worth noting that one of the most promising backs, Ben Robbins, didn’t even make the tournament as he is on the McPhail scholarship. He is unbelievably fast, with a British U18 400m gold to prove it!

    Final encouraging note about this lot is that many of the best of them are already signed on pro contracts to Edinburgh and Glasgow, as well as a few down south. It is hugely promising that they are performing on the world stage, as that suggests a pro breakthrough (for those like Fagerson that have not already done so) may not be too far off. They seemed to have both the skills and the physical tools to compete as pros.

  4. I have enjpyed what I have seen. Open flowing rugby and no cynical old crusties slowing it down with heavy tactics. I do not mind if they win or lose, I would sooner they win, and get more experience, however, I am just enjoying the free flowing rugby. Well done BT sport and just a mention about the ground at Calvisano , looks just right , not cutting up and green green grass despite the heat.Italy have done a good job , just right for this level.

  5. It looks as if our boys are doing reasonably well. They lost by realtively narrow margins to OZ and Ireland and got a good victory over Argentina. At least they are playing with determination and the correct attitude.

    By the way, according to the BBC sport website a certain Austallian makes 250K per annum. Maybe he ought to watch some of our U20 boys to understand what it is like to work hard for not much money, have commitment and a truely determined attitude even when things are not going well. 250K per annum- are you serious? Anyway I better quit while I am ahead but I think you know what my thoughts are on that.

    Well done to our U20 boys.

    1. Neil – on June 3rd you said:

      “I would love to say that we should field some of our youngsters but, having watched our pathetic U20 performance against NZ last night, I dont thinik that should happen. Our team was pathetic- one of the worst performances I have ever watched. NZ did not even have to break a sweat. I’m convinced they could have won the game but playing at walking pace. I expected NZ to win but not by such a margin and I had hoped that our boys would at least try. Were they training in the pub??????”

      The same group of players that you vilified, less than two weeks later, are being lauded by you as showing commitment and a truly determined attitude. Maybe you should reflect on the fact that sometimes Scotland (at any level) suffers big losses and looks dejected for reasons other than commitment, attitude and dedication and do not deserve the hysterical abuse you throw at them.

      Well done the u20s for turning round a tough start. Good luck against Ireland – if we win I believe that 7th would be our highest ever finish?

      1. I think FF, and others, the level of abuse that Neil seems to be subject to at the moment is getting a little out of hand.

        I am a sometime commenter, but I often read the pages here, and I have been surprised by the attacks that seem to be coming every time Neil posts. I agree that he is often off-topic, contradictory and makes points without merit, but he is as entitled to his contribution as all others are.

        Cyber-bullying, which this is well on the way to becoming, does not deserve a place on these pages and I would like to see you all show a little more maturity and restraint.

        If you do not like Neil’s post, simply ignore it and move on.

      2. David – the switch side of that is the liberal use of the terms bullying and abuse which I equally find irritating, these are serious accusations to make. Nothing I’ve seen from commenters on here warrants bullying labelled towards them. Plus of the many forums and comments sections out there I feel Scottish Rugby Blog is very well moderated and 99% of the comments section relevant and generates good debates. If Neil wants to continue making posts then fine by me, however he also has to take the criticism that his comments frequently produce. I agree there have been a few possible OTT ripostes by a few people towards Neil In FF’s case I think he puts his (exasperated!) responses across very well. Personally I find the back and forward keyboard jousting between FF and Neil highly amusing!!

      3. Fair enough Scafell, possibly overly emotive language to use, but I myself have found it irritating having to negotiate post after post of argument between Neil and others with very little substance.

        I’ll leave it at that, before I create another long and irritating conversation for others of exactly the type I was trying to avoid.

      4. Simple solution to that – ban Neil and we can all get back to having genuine fact based discussions about rugby

  6. No do not do that, besides there is no reason, I do not think you need to be a know all to blog here. Neil keeps this blog moving and keeps us on our toes. It is the yin and yang of it all that I love.

    I have learned a lot from the banter, and , it can be quite amusing. You do not need to respond and If you want to respond, you need to check out the facts for yourself in order to respond, as far as anything we say can be factual given the amount of misrepresentation in the press and internet. This is just re drawing the line and being made aware that it exists.

  7. I have to say that I agree with both Neil and FF here. And it’s not often you can say that!!!
    Neil’s comments last week about the lack of commitment of our U20’s against NZ was harsh, but fair. Then his comments yesterday seem to contradict his opinion. Maybe if he’d said “At least they are playing with determination and the correct attitude NOW” then FF wouldn’t have levelled the hypocrisy accusation. As Neil did not do that, then it’s fair to point out his 180 degree change of view.
    Back to the U20s and I must say how impressed I was with Fagerson, Kinghorn and Bradbury. Three great talents which will give us much needed strength in depth at 3,8 and 10 over the coming years. I say that as I believe these are our weakest areas for the forthcoming WC (in terms of injury cover).

  8. Hi chaps. Thanks for the comments. As we’ve said we try our best to keep abreast of what’s happening in the comments sections.
    Hopefully we’ve set out our stall in terms of what we expect and we can get back to talking about rugby.

  9. Given the comment has stopped on this thread, and I’m feeling a bit like it might have been my fault, I’d be interested to know what you all think about Glasgow signing Javan Sebastian, a Welsh youth capped Scottish Qualified tighthead.

    On the face of it, any kind of expansion of the player pool is good news in my opinion, however it seems odd that he has been signed to Glasgow what with Zander Fagerson already excelling as their 3rd/4th choice tighthead. A move to Edinburgh, to be their Fagerson may have made more sense?

    1. Can never get enough tight heads. Murray and Welsh have gone so these 2 young Scottish lads will get plenty opportunities

      1. Check out his you tube vid. Looks like a very mobile prop with decent hands. See why Townsend rates him!

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Scottish Rugby News and Opinion