A last-gasp try from Charlie Shiel created a piece of history for Scotland U20, securing their highest every finish of fifth in the World Rugby U20 Championship with a dramatic 24-17 victory over Australia U20 today in Georgia.
Scotland were behind for most of the game, going into the tunnel trailing the opposition 10-3, but a sensational second-half performance in which they score three tries secured a monumental win.
The victory was Scotland U20’s second over Australia in successive World Rugby U20 Championships and followed the senior side’s triumph over the men in gold the day prior.
Scotland’s fifth place finish bettered their previous high of eighth.
It was a slow start to proceedings with Australia’s Harrison Goddard breaking the deadlock deep into the opening half with a converted try, before extending his side’s lead further two minutes later with another successful strike from the tee (0-10).
Scotland’s first points came through the boot of Connor Eastgate, yet he was unable to reduce the deficit further with a missed penalty attempt on the cusp of half-time (3-10).
HALF-TIME | Scotland U20 3 – 10 Australia U20
Scotland looked a different side as they emerged from the tunnel and scored their first try of the game through Robbie Nairn after 47 minutes. The wing fed off an impressive break from Blair Kinghorn, and provided the support needed for the score. Eastgate’s conversion made it all-square.
The Dark Blues built on their momentum and after some great ball carrying from the pack, Charlie Shiel picked up the ball from the base of a ruck and sniped over the whitewash for his side’s second score. Eastgate made no mistake with the conversion to extend Scotland’s lead (17-10)
Goddard continued to show his finishing prowess and took advantage of a catalogue of Scotland errors to scoop up a loose ball and race away for his second score of the game, converting his the try to level the scores (17-17).
The Australian was unable to add further to his points tally on 71 minutes, when he put a penalty attempt wide of the mark.
Scotland were the dominant team for the final ten minutes, but found it difficult to break down the resilient Australian defence on approach to the line.
Some excellent pressure in defence on 79 minutes from the Dark Blues won a crucial scrum 10 metres out from the gold line and it was from such which Shiel sniped around the fringes and displayed his pace to finish under the sticks. Eastgate’s conversion was the last play of the game and brought the curtain down on a historic victory and tournament.
FULL-TIME | Scotland U20 24 – 17 Australia U20
Updated 18:27 - 18 Jun 2017 by Hugh Barrow