World Rugby U20s England too strong for a tired Scotland

I don’t think anyone would have predicted the score line in Manchester between England and Scotland, especially the bit fat 0 next to Scotland’s name. They were coming off a great win against Australia and having the Auld enemy as their next opponents is always extra incentive.

Scotland started well and in the first 10 mins they had two shots at goal which Fly half Blair Kinghorn put wide. But it all changed around the 10th minute when England won a penalty at the scrum which Harry Mallinder converted. This was the theme of the day. An altogether dominant England scrum. Oh and Mallinder.

Another pen missed and one converted saw England 6 – 0 up and winning another penalty at scrum time. Mallinder stuck this one into touch and a towering Callum Chick secured the lineout ball. Captain Jack Walker bundled the ball up snuggly in the ensuing driving maul and England strolled over the line for a try. For the rest of the half England maintained the pressure at scrum time and in the lineout and at the break it was 13 – 0. Scotland looked tired and there were still 40 minutes to go.World Rugby U20s England v Scotland

The second half began with some lovely hands from the England backs. Probably wanting to show the forwards it’s not all about scrum dominance. Scotland seemed to be back in the game now and spent some time in England’s half setting up a nice driving maul from a line out and moving into English territory. Unfortunately for Scotland England’s backs wanted to have a go again. Some lovely interplay up the right wing and some twinkle toes from Darren Atkins along the touchline led to Will Evans sliding over the try line on his belly. It went to the TMO and despite Scottish protestations, possibly with reason, a try was awarded. 20 – 0.

You could hear the Scottish heads drop as if a bag of cannon balls had been emptied onto a ships floor. Their heads stayed there as Sam Aspland-Robinson exploited the right wing again and offloaded to an ever supporting John Williams to score. Within 2 minutes the score had gone to 27 – 0.

Scotland did fight back into the English 22, but typically for the day they knocked on inches from the line and that was as near as they got again. Aspland-Robinson, Marchant and Atkins began playing down the right wing with abandon linking up with each other beautifully and England’s set piece continued its monopoly.

England made changes to rest key players such as Mallinder. However with 12 minutes to go the bench didn’t let up. A penalty was awarded to England in front of the posts and  fresh Max Malins opted to kick to touch. The resulting driving maul cut through the Scottish pack and Jack Singleton popped up with the try and a big grin. Malins converted. Minutes later he had added another penalty made a lovely break and sprinted in for a try which he converted. 12 minutes on the pitch 12 points. Hats off Mr Malins.

The game finished 44 – 0 to England. This write up may sound one-sided. Unfortunately that is because it was. However Scotland have Italy next to redeem themselves and we will hopefully see more from what is a group of talented players. The Rosebuds of England are facing Australia on Wednesday and are hoping to emulate the England boys in Brisbane. From the look of this squad many will be touring over there one day with senior caps to their names.

World Rugby U20s England v ScotlandNU-Gen summary

Need we say more? Scotland looked tired and were suffering from injury and players out of position however England just looked slick and drilled.

NU-Gen MOM – Goes to Will Evans for the 80 minutes but Aspland-Robinsons second half almost swayed us.

England 44

  • Mallinder – 12pts – p,p,c,c,c
  • Malins – 12pts – t,p,c,c
  • Evans – 5pts – t
  • Walker – 5pts – t
  • Williams – 5pts – t
  • Singleton – 5pts – t

Scotland 0