Scotland and Wales U21s victorious
February 4, 2000

Scotland's Under-21s ran riot with an 11-try demolition job against their Italian counterparts at the Stadio Communale in Frascati.

Italy took an early lead with a penalty from Danilo Carpente but the Scots quickly got into their stride and Melrose winger Bruce Ruthven ran in a hat-trick of tries.

The hat-trick try was converted by Calum MacRae, who added a penalty to give Scotland a 20-3 lead.

By half-time the young Scots led 41-3 thanks to further tries from number eight Simon Taylor, centre Ian MacInroy and full back Barry Irving, all converted by MacRae.

Italy opened the second half with a try from Carlo Festuccia converted by Carpente but the Scots again took over.

Tries were scored by scrum-half Ross Blake, McInroy, lock Tom Palmer, flanker Macfadyen and MacRae, who converted two tries, with one conversion from Irving.

"We needed to get our campaign off to a good start, and this was exactly what was required," said Scotland Under-21 manager Alastair Cranston.

Meanwhile, Neath fly-half Cerith Rees kicked his seventh and last penalty straight and low into a gusting wind to earn Wales' youngsters victory with just three minutes to spare at Llandovery.

France were their own enemies in the second half as they failed to take advantage of the strong wind.

But the Welsh forwards, well led by Newport number eight Alix Popham, defended with huge determination and the accurate Rees did the rest.

At wet and windy Church Bank the crowd, which included French rugby union president Bernard Lapasset and ex-international coaches Jean-Claude Skrela and Pierre Villepreux.

The game was played under the old laws after referee Andy Ireland (from Scotland) had received no advice from his union on the application of the new ones.

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