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Dickens praises England Under-20s character in win over Scotland

Dickens praises England Under-20s character in win over Scotland

Dickens praises England Under-20s character in win over Scotland
  • Connor Doherty scored the match-winning try as England-Under-20s maintained their 100 per cent record in this year's Championship
  • Scotland Under-20s' defeat to England follows their loss to Ireland in the opening weekend
  • Round 3 sees England host Ireland and Scotland visit Italy on Friday, February 21

Head coach Alan Dickens hailed England Under-20s’ “great character” after they came out on top in another tense Championship tussle on Friday night.

Six days after Richard Capstick’s last-gasp try downed France in Grenoble, England were made to work hard again before edging out Scotland 21-17 at Myreside to maintain their 100 per cent record.

Theo Dan and Freddie Steward struck either side of Ewan Ashman’s 21st minute score to give the visitors a 14-10 lead at half-time.

Scotland responded with a penalty try to move ahead in the second half as England went down to 14 men with Ben Donnell sin-binned.

But with a 11 minutes remaining Connor Doherty went over for the match-winning try which Manu Vunipola converted.

“We knew this would be a tough place to come and that proved to be the case,” Dickens said.

“But the players showed great character and composure to win the game.

“We probably didn’t have the majority of possession or territory, so to come out on top is really pleasing and testament to their character.

“It was a short turnaround from our away game in France, but the boys have been brilliant this week in the way they’ve recovered, analysed and prepared for this match and I think that showed in how we finished the game.

“Our discipline is an area we need to look at and we will want a step up in performance against Ireland who are the Grand Slam champions at under 20s.

“But it’s two wins from two which is a great start and now the players get to play in front of home support at Franklin’s Gardens in two weeks’ time and I know they will enjoy that experience.”

Scotland head coach Sean Lineen admitted “a few lapses” cost his side dearly as they suffered a second straight defeat following their loss to Ireland last weekend.

However, Lineen was delighted with the effort his team showed as they pushed England all the way.

“I’m so proud of the boys,” Lineen said.

“The way they got stuck-in, both in attack and defence, but like the game against Ireland last week we paid a price for a just a few lapses which let them in for three tries.”

“I’m so proud of the boys and the way they got stuck-in, both in attack and defence,” said Lineen. “But like the game against Ireland last week, we paid a price for a just a few lapses which were punished by their classy players and left us too much of a mountain to climb.

“But I can’t emphasise enough that the effort all of them put in – guys like Rory Darge, Connor Boyle, Ewan Ashman and Cammy Henderson – was phenomenal. Ollie Smith, too, ran it back really well from full-back.

“They never gave up and we blooded a lot of Under-19s players out there as well.

“We just ran out of puff at the end.”