Pool C: Scotland 27-3 Tonga

(IRB.COM) Sunday 13 June 2010
 
 Pool C: Scotland 27-3 Tonga
Scotland will meet Tonga again in the play-offs - Photo: Jano Colcerniani


Scotland bounced back from a heavy loss to South Africa to beat Tonga 27-3 in their Pool C encounter at the Club Atlético Estudiantes in Paraná, recording their first win of the IRB Junior World Championship 2010 in the process.

The two sides had met in the ninth place play-off in last year's tournament in Japan, the Scots edging a tightly-fought encounter 28-25 and both knew that victory was must this time out to guarantee their place in the 2011 Championship in Italy.

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Scotland, beaten 73-0 by South Africa four days earlier, played better as the game progressed in Paraná but still made a number of handling errors against a Tongan outfit who imposed their traditional style of play through their forwards.

Tonga, though, could not take advantage of their opportunities with throws going astray in the lineouts and kicks missing the uprights, unlike the reliable boot of Scotland fly half Duncan Weir whose only miss was a drop goal attempt.

Weir opened the scoring in the fourth minute with a penalty and then added the extras to centre Jonny Kennedy's 13th minute try. Jonnie Morath-Hansen and Manu Soatame then both missed a kick, before Weir's second penalty gave Scotland a 13-0 half-time lead.

Both sides were guilty of making errors in the second half, but after Soatame finally got Tonga on the scoreboard with an early penalty, Michael Maltman and captain Stuart McInally both crossed for tries - converted by Weir.

Tonga will get a chance to avenge this loss when the two sides meet against in Paraná on Thursday, with the winner to face either Ireland or Samoa for ninth place and the loser facing a must-win encounter with the 12th ranked side relegated to the IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy in 2011.

POST MATCH REACTION:

Scotland coach Eamon John: "We are delighted with the win today because there was a lot of pressure on us, on both teams having lost to South Africa and Australia. So to get the result and the win today we are really, really pleased. We'll look at who were are playing first and then we'll have a look at who we need to play and try to get our preparation done from there.

Scotland captain Stuart McInally: "I was very happy with the way we played. We showed some real ambition in attack and defence. I am really proud of our guys, we showed some real character.

"Our defence won us the game and our attack could be better. If we'd really pushed we could have gone for a fourth try. I don't know how it will work but it could have put us in the top eight. I am a little disappointed about that but we need to work on our attack."

Tonga coach Nili Tu´ipulotu: "Our team performance wasn't too bad but the Scots were better. We made a lot of silly mistakes and we can't seem to be able to finish it - and it has been the same for all of the tournament. Whenever we came close to the line we lost the ball or turned it over. We have to work on our ball security and keep it with us when we are close to the try-line."