England: 0
Scotland: 0

    Foster (12), Dunne (15, 38), Lazenby (26), Horne (37, 50), Marshall (41), L James (55, 69), Anderson (68), Williams (79)
    McNiven (10)

    J James 2/4; Horne 0/1, Prior 3/5
    Senter 1/1

Match report


Scotland actually on top early, opened the scoring on ten minutes, through hooker Martin McNiven, and competed well for a good half hour before England’s superiority was reflected on the scoreboard.

Stanningley's McNiven dived over from dummy-half and his Scotland Students team-mate Louis Senter converted for an early 6-0 lead. But that was as good as it got for the Junior Bravehearts. England bounced back with two tries in a couple of minutes. The kick-off was allowed to go through the back of the Scotland in-goal area and from the resulting drop out, England moved the ball right for Dougie Foster to step inside to score. Although the conversion was missed, Scotland allowed a high bomb to bounce on the rock hard surface and Callum Dunne snatched the ball to dive over the try-line. Cornwall-born Joel James converted for a 10-6 lead on 16 minutes.

Ten minutes later, England, having sustained some pressure before completing a smooth move, England full-back Jack Lazenby joined in to score on the left. James was unable to convert. Gregor Ramsey was unable to hold a short pass from the enigmatic stand-off Alex Jobson when charging at the line as Scotland held their own but were far less clinical than their hosts.

Shortly before half-time there was a double-blow for Scotland as they lost scrum-half Senter - and a lot of direction - to injury and another try as stand-off Joel James sent in sub Dom Horne from Huddersfield to the right of the ruck. James made it 20-6. That became a triple blow as South Londoner Zach Bembridge was held up over the line by four Scots but from the next play the ball, England moved the ball down the line for Halifax’s Callum Dunne to touch down. England winger Leon James could have made it worse for the Junior Bravehearts only to drop the ball over the line as the half-time whistle blew.

Second after the restart, Liam Marshall squeezed in on the left but Horne could not add the extras. Horne got another try on 50 minutes off a lovely ball from Jack Swawbrick, Wigan Warriors’ scrum-half Joe Prior succeeding with his first kick at goal of the game as substitutions gave everyone in the two large squads a run-out. Halifax’s Luke James flew over on 55 minutes from another Horne run against a tiring and overworked Scottish defence, Prior bringing up the 40 mark.

With no possession to speak of throughout the second half, it was no surprise Scotland faded badly while England were ruthless. Having dealt relatively well with the threat from England’s pack, the visitors were exposed for speed on the flanks with two tries in as many minutes, first via Liam Marshall and tryscorer Troy Anderson on the left and then Leon James scoring his second try on the right, Prior converting from the touchline to bring up the half century.

The final try came in the last minute when Filton’s Joe Rider showed remarkable pace to get down the outside of Aberdeen Warriors' youngster Damien Gennochio, and Josh Williams had the required peace of mind to kick forward and dive on the bobbling ball to make it 54-6.

Scotland coach Senter had mixed feelings about the performance. “It didn’t help losing the 7 and our decision-making was poor, which showed a lack of experience. A lot of young boys had an opportunity and some took it – I thought young Gregor Ramsey had a great game, Damien {Gennochio} came on, showed he had a big heart and stood up defensively. We were missing three Academy players which made a difference but this is part of our boys’ education – we have got to play against teams of this quality or we’ll never progress. Now they have take this back to their clubs and improve the players around them.”

England coach Dean Reacher was pleased to end his team’s season on a high. “I thought we looked good at times, the backs were extremely dangerous and Scotland couldn’t deal with their pace. It was difficult using so many players – we gave all 26 a game – but that was our decision and we got what we wanted from the fixture.”

Scotland now have two weeks off before training starts again ahead of their clash with Wales Under-18s at Whitecraigs in Glasgow in September.

Jack Lazenby, Callum Dunne, Dougie Foster, Sam Welch, Leon James, Joel James, Joe Prior, Ryan Kelsey, Danny Fallon, Malikai Lloyd Jones, Dale Cooper, Brad Hill, Ryan Lee. Subs: Joe Rider, Jack Swarbrick, Liam Marshall, Luke James, Zachariah Bembridge, Troy Anderson, Dom Horne, Josh Williams

Daryl Love, Jack Feeney, Iain Allen, Jordan Robertson, Colin McKay, Alex Jobson, Louis Senter, Sam Herron, Martin McNiven, Craig Fairfield, Oliver Murray, Andy Mill, Gregor Ramsay. Subs: Joe Kirkup, Gavin Reed, Ross Young, Cameron Scott, Jordan Thomson, Damien Genochio, Andrew Lang
Craig Muir