Crucial international for young Scots at GHA

GHA will be hosting a crucial international rugby match at Braidholm on Sunday. It is a game
Scotland have to win to ensure progressing to the knock-out stage of the European under-18
championship.

Scotland’s opponents will be Ireland, who have already lost to England by 12-29 in Dublin in
December. But Scotland sprung a surprise last Sunday by beating England 26-21 in Leeds.
So the Scottish boys now have to beat the Irish to make sure of topping the three-team group to
go through to the European semi-finals in Tarbes, France, in late April.

GHA members will have a double interest in Sunday’s match. Not only will they be hosting
an under-18 international for the second time in two weeks but two of the club’s youngsters,
Adam Barnett and Rory Hughes, have been in the squad for both of the Scots’ two
matches in March. Adam played the whole match against England, and Rory went on as a
replacement. Scotland’s team for Sunday’s game against Ireland will be announced later this
week.

Scotland lost their previous match at Braidholm, when the Japanese High Schools’ touring
team won by 20-13 on 20 March. However, the young Scots put that defeat behind them on
their visit to Leeds Carnegie’s ground at Headingley, springing back from a 13-21 deficit to
win by five points.

After that victory the Scots’ delighted head coach, Grant McKelvey, said: “The side stuck
to the game plan that they themselves had had a big part in putting together. They handled
England’s physicality really well. The boys applied pressure at every point in the game, and
together with their huge work ethic, they pulled off a great result.”

Looking ahead, the coach added: “This result means nothing if we don’t work hard to
improve areas of our game for next week. Our goal is to improve our performance both as a
squad and individually again, on and off the field. If we do this we will be rewarded.”

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