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Home > News > England U20 debuts go well for Watson and Forsyth
Your News England U20 debuts go well for Watson and Forsyth

Andy Forsyth and Marcus Watson both scored on debut as England got their Under 20 RBS 6 Nations campaign back on the rails at Firhill.

Leicester Tigers centre Forsyth and London Irish wing Watson both touched down in the first 20 minutes of a much more composed and clinical performance from a side that lost its way against Ireland a fortnight ago.

Lock Charlie Matthews (Harlequins) added a third try just before the interval but England lost their shape after the interval when most of the hard work had been done.

Flawless fly half Rory Clegg supplied two penalties and three conversions, as well as providing some of the tactical direction the side has missed while he has been absent on Guinness Premiership duty with Harlequins.

Discipline, though, was a major issue as England lost three players to the sin bin - Calum Green (Leicester Tigers), Sam Smith (Harlequins) and Will Welch (Newcastle Falcons). Sharper opponents will punish them for that.

England handed debuts to Forsyth and Watson - later Mako Vunipola and Mark Atkinson came off the bench to win their first caps - and made eight changes to their starting line-up, the bulk of them in the backline, after going down 25-10 in that game at Kingsholm.

Forsyth made a dream start, scoring with almost his first touch as England produced one of their best attacking passages of the championship three minutes in.

They forced a turnover, then kept their shape through several phases before Joe Marler stormed up the middle with Jamie George supporting before Clegg slid a low kick between defenders for Forsyth to touch down under the posts.

Clegg converted and added a ninth minute penalty but a competitive Scotland side forced some errors. Alex Blair missed with his opening shot at goal but got his side on the board in the 11th minute.

England were down to 14 men soon after when Green was sin-binned for fighting, but instead of digging in they stunned Scotland with a second try.

Jacob Rowan poached a loose throw at the tail of the lineout and Clegg's miss-pass sent Watson away around the outside of an outnumbered defensive line with the fly half converting via an upright.

Again Blair pulled three points back when the visitors were caught offside 15 minutes before the break; again England stepped up with Smith's mazy break down the left followed up by skipper Rowan with Matthews on hand to score. Clegg's conversion put his side 27-6 clear.

They lost another man to the bin when Smith went within two minutes of the restart for an early tackle on airborne catcher Oliver Grove after a feisty Scottish opening passage, although again the home side couldn't add any points with an extra man.

They should have scored against 15, mind you, Blair intercepting and going the length of the field only to lose the ball unchallenged over the line, and then had another 10 minutes against 14 when Welch was yellow carded for killing the ball in his own 22.

Again England hung on before finishing with an imperfect flourish, a brace of potential scoring passes going astray in a frantic last five minutes.

Scotland U20: Tom Brown (Edinburgh Ac); Oliver Grove (Worcester Warriors), 13 James Johnstone (Currie), 12 Alex Dunbar (Selkirk), Dougie Fife (Currie); Alex Blair (Edinburgh Ac), Alex Black (Leeds Carnegie); Nicky Little (Hawick), Alun Walker (Currie), Colin Phillips (Stewart's Melville), Matthew Reid (Heriot's), Robert Harley (West of Scotland), Michael Maltman (Heriot's), David Denton (Edinburgh Accies), Stuart McInally (Watsonians, captain).

Replacements: Lindsey Gibson (Melrose) for Walker 72, George Hunter (Glasgow Hawks) for Phillips 58, Aaron Hall (Newcastle Falcons) for Reid 48, Callum Stidston-Nott (London Scottish) for Maltman, Kris Hamilton (Caithness), Matthew Scott (Currie) for Johnstone 53, Duncan Weir (Glasgow Hawks) for Grove.

Scorers: Penalties: Blair 2.

England U20: Tom Catterick (Newcastle Falcons); Marcus Watson (London Irish), Andrew Forsyth (Leicester Tigers), Tom Casson (Harlequins), Sam Smith (Harlequins); Rory Clegg (Harlequins), Sam Harrison (Leicester Tigers); Lee Imiolek (Sale Sharks), Jamie George (Saracens), Joe Marler (Harlequins), Calum Green (Leicester Tigers), Charlie Matthews (Harlequins), Jamie Gibson (London Irish), Jacob Rowan (Leeds Carnegie, captain), Jackson Wray (Saracens).

Replacements: Arthur Ellis (London Wasps) for George 63, Mako Vunipola (Bristol Rugby) for Imiolek 53, Danny Wright (Gloucester Rugby) for Green 53, Will Welch (Newcastle Falcons) for Wray 56, Jordi Pasqualin (Gloucester Rugby) for Harrison 76, Mark Atkinson (Sale Sharks) for Casson 61, Jonathan Joseph (London Irish) for Watson 69.

Scorers: Tries: Forsyth, Watson, Matthews. Conversions: Clegg 3. Penalties: Clegg 2.

Referee: John Lacey (IRFU).

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