The history that comes with Scotland against England fixtures will tell you just how competitive they are. Despite England U20 losing the bragging rights, a remarkable Scotland victory, arguably against the odds, shows the impact the fixture has.
Given that Scotland had lost both of the their opening two fixtures convincingly, to come from 10 points down to score three unanswered tries and secure a bonus point victory could provide the catalyst to Scotland’s turnaround in the competition.
However, England looked favourably to contest a grand slam defence with the French, who themselves are now on course to land the title.
England U20 Loss a Learning Experience
But for the most part, the inexperience told for the English, who failed to seize the initiative with a lead they would have otherwise seen out. England U20 back-rower Josh Basham, new to U20 level, knows his side can use the experience to their advantage.
Speaking exclusively to Last Word on Rugby, Basham said:
“Losing is always a good learning experience and from this we can look at our mistakes, rebuild and it’ll make us much tighter together”
Both sides found it difficult to establish themselves early on, largely compounded by errors and infringements. England’s forward pack dominated the set piece, pushing their Scottish counterparts on the back foot on numerous occasions.
The Scots ruled out Tom Hardwick’s early penalty with the game’s first try. Ewan Johnson diving over from close range having been camped on England’s line asserting the pressure.
Scottish Grit and Determination
The onus then on England, the final 10 minutes of the first half was dominated by the visitors. A Tom Hardwick try was then followed by Tom Seabrook touching down after two stunning attacks in open play. A 10 point lead going in to the break looked favourable for another England victory.
I got my opportunity [against Wales] so I’m just really happy to be playing. I’m really enjoying it
England’s last trip to Scotland in the Six Nations ended with a Scotland win. With that in mind, England lost their first half momentum and it had swung emphatically in Scotland’s favour. 17 unanswered points including three tries wrapped up an incredible bonus point victory that secured the Scots’ first win of the campaign.
Scotland can Finish Tournament on High
“The Scots were very passionate” said Basham. They came out much more ready and we knew that they’d come out fighting.
It’s a great experience. Playing for your country is a dream come true. The experience is great for in getting as much game time as possible.
“We want to be a physical side. We tried to do it in the Wales game and tried to carry it on in this game but we lost that physical edge.”
Despite the hopes of a grand slam over, the title defence isn’t. The defending champions will need to travel to France with only one thing in mind. A win against the French, with a bonus point, will set up an incredible final round.
Scotland will take great confidence from beating last year’s winners and could be the turning point in where they finish at the end of this year’s Championship.
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