Sunday Herald - - 19.03.17 SPORT -

SEAN Li­neen has con­grat­u­lated his Scot­land Un­der-20 team for keep­ing their com­po­sure in the face of ex­treme provo­ca­tion by their Ital­ian coun­ter­parts dur­ing Fri­day night’s 38-17 vic­tory at Broad­wood.

The hosts raced into a 31-0 lead af­ter 45 min­utes through tries from Darcy Gra­ham, An­drew Sim­mers, Tom Dod and Matt Fager­son – but then con­ceded three scores to make it a lit­tle too close for com­fort, be­fore a sec­ond touch­down from Gra­ham fi­nally se­cured the win.

“It was a great learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence for the play­ers. The Ital­ians were very phys­i­cal, and ended up get­ting a few red cards – which gave us breath­ing space. I’m very proud of the guys keep­ing their com­po­sure against some of the stuff which was go­ing on,” he said.

“It’s a new group – very young, very in­ex­pe­ri­enced and they’ve worked re­ally hard – so it was great to see them score a few tries. They did fall away a bit dur­ing the sec­ond half be­cause they are not used to that sort of ag­gres­sion from much big­ger men, but they got over the line in the end.”

Next stop is the Ju­nior World Cup in Ge­or­gia which starts t the end of May, and Li­neen says that prepa­ra­tion for that will start im­me­di­ately.

“We need to get fit­ter and the play­ers know that, so we’ve got a re­ally com­pre­hen­sive pro­gramme over the next nine weeks which is go­ing work them re­ally hard,” he ex­plained.

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