World Rugby U20 Trophy 2024: Scotland and Netherlands Impress in Edinburgh

World Rugby U20 Trophy 2024: Scotland continued their unstoppable run at the World Rugby U20 Trophy 2024 in Edinburgh with another century of points, while the Netherlands achieved their historic maiden win.

In the World Rugby U20 Trophy 2024, hosts Scotland, as well as previous winners Japan and the USA, are undefeated after the second round at Edinburgh’s Hive Stadium on Sunday.

World Rugby U20 Trophy 2024: Scotland and Netherlands Impress in Edinburgh
Photo Credit: World Rugby

With just one round of games remaining, the USA secured a commanding victory over Uruguay, the team that finished last year, to start the tournament. Then, as Scotland comfortably defeated Hong Kong China, Finlay Doyle increased his try total to six in just two games.

Next, Japan established a winner-take-all pool. a grand finale with the hosts after winger Kohaku Ebisawa scored a hat-trick of tries and kicked two conversions in a decisive 81-7 victory over Samoa.

Meanwhile, in the final match of the second day in Edinburgh, the Netherlands defeated Kenya 51-3 thanks to an incredible first-half display that earned them their first victory over the U20 Trophy.


Finlay Doyle, a winger, scored his second hat-trick in as many games as Scotland defeated Hong Kong China to easily earn a second century of points in the competition.

Scotland ran in 15 tries in their second game at Hive Stadium, adding to the 19 they scored in their first game, five days after setting a World Rugby U20 tournament record against Samoa. Engineering student Doyle is currently three tries short of the joint U20 Trophy record for an individual player, held by Portugal’s Raffaele Storti and Samoa’s Robert Lilomaiava.

From the beginning, they were faster, stronger, and better organized than their rivals. Against Samoa on Tuesday, it took them ten minutes to settle into their routine. Within two minutes, flanker Freddy Douglas crashed over from a lineout maul to put them on the scoreboard this time.

Eight minutes later, Doyle scored his first after Hong Kong China failed to make contact. Fly-half Matthew Urwin collected the ball and threw it to the outstanding Johnny Ventisei, who promptly handed it to Doyle.

Not all of the traffic was one-way. Scotland repeatedly infringed on the breakdown, maybe in a haste to retrieve the ball, which let Hong Kong China—who on Tuesday defeated Japan with a then-U20 Trophy record 105 points—drive the Scots deep into their own area. However, they were unable to capitalize on their sporadic forays into Scotland’s 22.

Scotland were clinical when they had the ball, particularly in the lineout. After Ludo Kolade’s break and a penalty to touch, Liam McConnell scored their third goal, with Jonny Morris following his captain’s lead a few minutes later.

Hector Patterson’s daring escape through the defence from the base of a maul turned four tries in twenty-two minutes into five in twenty-five. On the half-hour, Douglas’s second was an exact replica of his first.

Five minutes before the half, Doyle’s second came from another lineout when he cut back from a trick strike move. And he scored his third right after the restart, finishing deftly after hooker Stephen had shredded the defenders with remarkable pace.

Two minutes into the second half, Ventisei scored Scotland’s ninth goal, and eight minutes later, Morris was there to take advantage of another break from Kolade to score his second.

Hong Regime China courageously defended, but it was exhausting. Following a botched opposition lineout by his forwards, Jack Hocking scored Scotland’s eleventh, and Fergus Watson quickly added their twelveth from the restart.

When they broke the century against Samoa in the 65th minute, Urwin converted Jerry Blyth-Lafferty’s try to make the score 87-0. After Urwin successfully converted Ryan Burke’s try on the hooter, Kolade earned a well-deserved touchdown three minutes from time, propelling Scotland over the century mark.

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Samoa had suffered a crushing loss to Scotland on the opening day, but they made a strong start against Japan on Sunday.

Nevertheless, Japan scored the first goal in the eighth minute when center Yamato Ueda scored from close range; Samoa was unable to convert early territory into points.

Four minutes after hooker Kenshin Shimizu had led a strong lineout drive to score his fourth try of the competition and double the Japanese lead, Ueda’s center partner Takaya Motohashi missed the conversion.

Then, flanker Shusui Kamei scored in the left corner, but it was unsuccessful again as Japan scrum-half Joji Takaki used some quick thinking to his advantage.

When Ebisawa broke free from his wing to gain possession of the ball in midfield and penetrate the Samoan defense, Japan was able to secure the bonus-point try in the 25th minute. Motohashi went above and above this time.

Four minutes later, with ten minutes remaining in the first half, Ebisawa scored his second try of the game after successfully collecting a pin-point Motohashi cross-field kick. Japan looked to be coasting at a 27-0 lead.

However, Samoa might have cut into the Japanese lead before halftime if Panaua Niulevaea had scored a penalty kick right in front of the posts, number eight Benjamin Faavae had won the race to the bouncing ball after his charge down, or Niulevaea had not been pulled down a few meters from the line.

As it happened, they had to settle for a try at the end of the half from fly-half Maoaluma Pasa, who went over under the posts after some excellent work from scrum-half Ravuama Seruvakula and winger Taitaifono Tavita.

At the half, Niulevaea had converted to put Japan ahead 27–7, but that was the closest Samoa would get to their rivals.

The nation of Pacific Islands exerted much effort during the initial moments of the second half, but things really got out of control when Shimizu crossed the line following another lineout drive in the 49th minute.

As Japan pulled away, Takaki scored the first of four tries in 11 minutes of the second half, with Motohashi converting the other three.

After Samoa had first rejected a driving maul, Jinnosuke Mori scored the second of those, followed by winger Kent Iioka who completed a flowing play and second row Chuka Ishibashi who powered his way over.

Ensuring their triumph, Japan added four more tries in the last fifteen minutes, with Ryoku Masuo and Kyoya Tanaka, replacement forwards, scoring, and Tasuku Masuyama and winger Ebisawa completing their hat-tricks to bring the final score 81-7.

After Faavae was sent to the sin bin for trying to unlawfully bring down the drive from which Tanaka scored, Samoa finished the match with 14 players.


USA dominated Pool B after defeating Uruguay handily in their second Edinburgh match to get revenge for a close loss in last year’s competition.

The two teams had split their previous four meetings, with the past three ending in decisions of no more than two points. The most recent of these was at the U20 Trophy in Kenya last year, where Uruguay defeated Kenya 33–31 in a thrilling match that ended with a converted try in the 75th minute.

Compared to the 2023 match, the first half at Hive Stadium was more of a slow burn. Both teams struggled to hold possession of the ball against some formidable defense, with USA fly-half Benjamin Saunders, 18, scoring the only goal of the first quarter from a penalty kick in the sixth minute.

However, the game was just as fierce as it had been a year before. Uruguay dominated set pieces, gaining penalty after penalty at the scrum, although the USA were more dangerous in free-flowing play, particularly when they missed.

Nevertheless, Uruguay scored first thanks to a brilliant lineout strike maneuver following a penalty kick to touch. The ball was transferred back to the blindside, where hooker Francisco Garcia had an unobstructed run to the line, despite their attempt to maul.

Uruguay’s lead was increased by a penalty shortly before halftime, but two excellent Saunders penalties ten minutes into the second half put the USA ahead again.

A few minutes later, Oliver Cline, who had replaced Saunders, made a superbly timed 50:22 kick that exposed Uruguay’s vulnerable defense. From the lineout, the ball was thrown wide to find winger Corbin Smith in free space.

With 14 minutes remaining, USA broke through Uruguay’s defense once more, allowing Keelan Farrell to sprint beneath the goal posts. It appeared as though the USA would win handily, but Santiago Gini’s sprint under the posts for Uruguay nearly immediately closed the gap.

After the resumption, a Cline penalty increased the lead once further. However, despite their best attempts in the last minutes—Dylan Fortune was stopped and Saunders was unable to hold onto the ball as the line was begging—they were unable to convert for the bonus point try.


After dominating Kenya in just 40 minutes on Tuesday, the Netherlands continued where they left off against the USA on Tuesday. At Hive Stadium, it took the Dutch less than two minutes to take the lead as scrum-half Niek Doornenbal eluded a few tackles near the line. 

Complete-back A few minutes later, Ilan Vaasen missed the chance to add extra points to center Kees de Bruin’s try, despite having converted. Vaasen’s penalty kick in the eleventh minute gave the Netherlands a 15-point advantage as they proceeded to control the game.

Five minutes later, second row Clein Omukhulu received a yellow card for illegally hauling down a driving maul, making Kenya’s task much more difficult.

The Dutch seized the opportunity right away, with number eight Joris Smits winning the ball after a strong drive against their exhausted opponents. Vaasen finished with a powerful touchline conversion.

As the game entered the second quarter, Kenya took the lead with to a penalty kick from James Olela. However, this was only a temporary relief, as the Netherlands’ fly-half Tom Hijdra subsequently found Kit Temperley with a brilliant miss pass, and the Dutch captain completed the scoring.

With that score, the Netherlands were assured of a try bonus point, and before halftime, they would cross the Kenyan line twice more when prop Toine Obiang Nguema powered over following a penalty kick and Smits over for the second time behind a driving maul.

After the half, Kenya got stronger and the Dutch found it more harder to keep up. It took them more than 22 minutes to score their sixth try.

After an excellent counterattack just after the hour, Hijdra and Temperley combined to release Vaasen in the left corner, which was further bolstered by some deft handling.

In the 74th minute, the tournament rookies scored their first point when Flynn Baker, the replacement winger, delivered a spectacular finish on the other side.

The Dutch easily defeated the Dutch 51-3 to keep their prospects of making it to the final alive, even though Vaasen missed both of his touchline conversions in the second half.

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