Under-18s mature in motivated Murrayfield performance

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Edinburgh U18s17

Borders U18s45

BORDERS age-grade sides have made a habit, in recent seasons, of journeying up to Edinburgh, only to return with their tails between their legs after some comprehensive beatings.

Not this time, however.

Both teams had players who had been in the Scotland Under-19s against an Australian Schools side the previous Sunday and these players were rested. The Borderers were also short of a couple of injured players and had the misfortune of losing second row William Brown (Peebles) in the warm-up.

Nevertheless, a well-drilled, very-competitive Borders side took the game to Edinburgh from the word go and soon had a useful lead of 14-0, thanks to tries by full back Gavin Wood (Melrose) and George Taylor (Melrose and Loretto). Taylor converted both tries.

Some lax play nearer half-time allowed the city youngsters back into the game, scoring two unconverted tries in the space of two minutes.

The second half, apart from a fine individual try by the Edinburgh hooker, belonged to the Borders, who scored tries through Rory Marshall (Jed Thistle), Stephen Ainslie (Berwick and Loretto), Sean Chapman (Hawick High School and Hawick Wanderers) and Shane Armstrong (Jed Thistle).

Taylor converted three of the second-half touchdowns, all coming from good support play and direct running, apart from Chapman’s, which was as a result of his fine anticipation for an interception and a 40m dash to the line.