Scots capitalise on England's failings

England Under-21 22 Scotland Under-21 33
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The Independent Online

England threw away a substantial first-half lead to hand Scotland victory in their meeting yesterday in the Under-21 World Cup, a tournament eventually won by New Zealand.

Victory allowed Scotland to claim seventh place ahead of their arch-rivals, who had been 11 points ahead inside the first 32 minutes. The home side's fourth defeat in five games and their first ever by Scotland at Under-21 level means they had to settle for an eighth-place finish.

England had only themselves to blame after scoring three tries in the first half-hour. Scotland scored first when Mark McMillan crossed but England's Chris Bell levelled with a try on 12 minutes.

Adryan Winnan converted to give his side a 7-5 lead and Tom Williams scored England's second try on his debut for the side. England moved into an 11-point lead when the prop Michael Holford went over the line and Winnan again converted a few minutes later. Despite losing Jon Hart to the sin bin and conceding a second try to Nikki Walker just before the break, the home side were in control.

But with England double tackling in an attempt to tighten up their defence, the wing Walker was left unmarked to touch down his second try in the right corner edging Scotland ahead by a point. Graham Morton then added another try for Scotland, converting it himself before adding a penalty.

In the final at Oxford's Kassam Stadium, New Zealand's captain, Sam Tuitupou, led his side to a 21-10 victory over Australia. The "Baby Blacks" took command with an early try from the lock Ross Kennedy and never looked back.

Argentina's Under-21s claimed third place with a 34-30 victory over South Africa.