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Scotland U19 5 Australian Schools 29: visitors too strong for Scots

Australia proved too strong for Scotland Under-19 in yesterday's match at Myreside but the Scots, who fielded a majority of under-18 players, were far from outplayed as demonstrated by the narrow try advantage of 2-1.

The visitors amassed 14 of their 23 first-half points through the boot of stand-off Andrew Deegan as a result of their domination of the contact area by their athletic forwards and powerful running from their big centres, who proved difficult to stop.

The scratch Scotland side, who had only one training session for this match and who were weakened by several late call-offs, were always going to find it tough against a team battle hardened by four matches including games against England U18 and Wales U18.

"They were a better side than us but the important thing is that some of our young players were exposed to a level of rugby that is higher than they've ever experienced," said coach Eddie Pollock. "I thought we scrummaged really well but we could not use that advantage because of the under-19 scrum laws. But it augers well for the future".

Outstanding for Scotland was the back row of Ally Miller, Magnus Bradbury and James Ritchie while behind the scrum, Ben Vellacot helped to trigger a stirring second-half performance.

Australia led 23-0 at the break with tries from centre Tepai Moeroa and full-back Andrew Kellaway, both converted by Deegan, who also also kicked three first half penalties

The Scots looked much more abrasive in the second half but two further penalties put the tourists further ahead. went further behind with a penalty and one by replacement Mitch Third. But Scotland staged a fightback, No.8 Bradbury picking up from the base of a scrum before sprinting through a defensive gap to score from 30 metres out for the final points of the game.

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