Ireland Under 19’s gained revenge for their home defeat against Scotland in April with a very disciplined and well structured performance at Livingston RFC yesterday.
A late resurgence for a young Scotland side was not quite enough to keeping the visiting side from claiming the victory in Livingston.
It was a very defensive display for the first quarter of the game where Scotland weren’t able to convert any possession to field position, but they did manage to keep Ireland scoreless, despite numerous attempts at the line.
The first points came 21 minutes into the first half when Scotland when found field position in front of the posts and scrum half Max Anderson-Moore put over a drop goal to come away from the Irish half with something. and were to receive the kick off and possession.
It was a frustrating unforced handling error at the kick off which gifted Ireland possession 10 metres from the Scots’ line. It didn’t take long for hooker, Patrick Angling, to go over from dummy half with the successful conversion by Josh McNamee to put the Irish ahead.
A further try from McNamee, who found a gap under the posts, extended Ireland’s lead to 1-10 before he converted his own try to give the Irish the upper hand at half time 1-12.
Scotland came out of the sheds needing a quick try to gain momentum in the game, but it was Ireland that capitalised on early possession with Angling claiming a brace and McNamee adding the extras.
The Bravehearts had some opportunities echoing the good defensive work done in the first half by keeping Ireland near their line and forcing a goal line drop out. On the next set, an Irish kick out on the full gave Scotland further opportunities which they passed up with a handling error.
Angling completed his hat-trick with a try similar to the first two, finding a gap from dummy half. McNamee maintaining his 100% kick rate puting Ireland into a seemingly unassailable 1-24 lead going into the final 15 minutes.
Scotland eventually found some momentum and, with the crowd behind them, they finally crossed the whitewash through a dummy half effort by Dan May. Then, despite an easy conversion by Anderson-Moore, the host still had it all to do at 7-24 behind.
But, with seven minutes to go, Jack Grahamslaw crossed out wide, Anderson-Moore adding the extras and, at 13-24 the seemingly impossible came very much within reach.
It was Lyle Wilson who crossed for the third try, breaking the line and going under the posts. Another easy conversion then meant that Scotland were within a converted try for victory but with three minutes to go, it was getting tight.
In the final minutes, Scotland had a couple of attempts to go over and clinch victory but, as Ireland were feeling the pressure, the visitors must have been relieved to hear the final whistle.
An enthusiastic crowd of just over 200 enjoyed the match in unusually hot and sunny Scottish weather, the game being a credit to the teams, with both sides showing that they had developed significantly since the first game back in April.
Match report courtesy of Scotland Rugby League
Images from the match will appear here over the next few days