Scotland U20s emulate senior team
WORLD U-20 CHAMPIONSHIPS REPORT: Scotland U20s emulated their senior counterparts by getting the better of Australia 24-17 to finish the World U-20 Championship in fifth place.
Australia led the match at the half-time break but some missed opportunities and handling errors allowed Scotland to break the game open and come from behind to claim the victory.
A controversial late try by Scotland proved to be the decisive moment when scores were level at 17-17, allowing Charlie Shiel to dive under the posts and break Australian hearts.
The latest Melbourne Rebels signing, Harrison Goddard was one of Australia's standouts with the young scrumhalf scoring all of Australia's 17 points.
"Scotland played extremely well, their field position was outstanding, whereas ours was poor, they kicked for corners and they did really well.
"Our game management and basic execution was what let us down. The boys tackled their hearts out around the breakdown. We counter rucked a lot and turned the ball over. It was just what we did with the ball when we got it.
"We had some passes that guys threw behind others, dropped ball and it alleviated any pressure unfortunately. Harrison [Goddard] is a great player, he's one guy that has played a bit more and he shows that.
"He has got a good head on his shoulders and knows what to do. He was one of the best guys out there today," Australia U-20 head coach Simon Cron said.
The first twenty minutes of the match was a scoreless battle between the two sides, as both countries fought hard to break each other's defence.
Goddard was huge for the Australian side in the opening exchanges, creating space and turning the defence around with some well-placed kicks behind. The young scrumhalf, was the first to cross the try-line for Australia as well after some patience from the young men in gold, broke down the Scottish defence.
Scotland put themselves within striking range on the scoreboard with a late penalty by Connor Eastgate to narrow the gap to 10-3 where the score remained at the break.
Scotland shot out of the blocks in the second half and were the first to score when Robbie Nairn received a perfectly timed pass from fullback Blair Kinghorn to level the scores at 10-10.
Australia was forced to defend with one less player when Cody Walker went down injured and the Scots took full advantage with Charlie Shiel crossing the line to give Scotland the 17-10 lead.
The excellent form of Goddard once again shone through when he snatched a loose ball out of the air from a Scottish pass to run 40-metres to score. Converting his own try, Goddard brought the scores level at 17-17.
A handling error by the Australian backs with less than five minutes to go, placed huge pressure on the Aussie defence, as Scotland hammered their territorial advantage.
A controversial late try where it appeared Australian flank Angus Scott-Young was held back from making a try saving tackle, allowed Scotland to steal a famous victory at the Championship with Charlie Shiel diving over to much jubilation from the Scottish fans.
Connor Eastgate converted the try to give Scotland a 17-24 victory.
Tries: Nairn, Shiel 2
Cons: Eastgate 3
Tries: Goddard 2
Cons: Goddard 2
Scotland: 15 Blair Kinghorn, 14 Robbie Nairn, 13 Ross McCann, 12 Stafford McDowall, 11 Darcy Graham, 10 Connor Eastgate, 9 Andrew Simmers, 8 Tom Dodd, 7 Matt Fagerson, 6 Luke Crosbie, 5 Callum Hunter-Hill (captain), 4 Alex Craig, 3 Adam Nicol, 2 Fraser Renwick, 1 George Thornton.
Replacements: 16 Robbie Smith, 17 Fergus Bradbury, 18 Daniel Winning, 19 Hamish Bain, 20 Bruce Flockhart, 21 Charlie Shiel, 22 Josh Henderson, 23 Lewis Berg.
Australia: 15 Liam McNamara, 14 Henry Hutchison, 13 Izaia Perese, 12 Sione Tuipulotu, 11 Simis Tupou, 10 Hamish Stewart, 9 Harrison Goddard, 8 Reece Hewat (captain), 7 Liam Wright, 6 Angus Scott-Young, 5 Harry Hockings, 4 Ryan McCauley, 3 Shambeckler Vui, 2 Jordan Uelese, 1 Cody Walker.
Replacements: 16 Efi Maafu, 17 Harry Johnson-Holmes, 18 Gavin Luka, 19 Lachland Swinton, 20 Rob Valetini, 21 Harry Nucifora, 22 Nick Jooste, 23 Dylan Riley.
Referee: Jamie Nutbrown (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Christophe Ridley (England), Nika Amashukeli (Georgia)
TMO: Johan Greeff (South Africa)