MORE than 500 people came to Braidholm to cheer on young GHA prop James Malcolm during his start for Scotland under 18s.
The Hutchesons’ grammar pupil started at prop during the age grade national side’s 12-19 loss to Wales, by a heartbreaking late converted try.
He is yet another of the Malcolm family to make his name in the rugby world, with the startlet’s elder brother Donald GHA’s starting hooker and a previous Scotland under 19 international while his father Walter was a legendary club star, latterly turning out for Glasgow Hawks.
Head coach Eddie Pollock said: “The boys are disappointed that we lost. It’s a game we shouldn’t have lost and the effort and technical ability from the players was very good.
“They’re a good group to work with and they worked extremely hard today. We struggled in a couple of early scrums but we got to grips with that; our lineout was pretty strong, apart from a couple of balls we lost on our own line which led to us losing scores.
“We can eradicate these things quite easily — but at this level if you make mistakes, people score”.
“The important thing is that we learn from our mistakes and improve before we play England next week. These back-to-back games are about looking at our mistakes and taking on messages.”
Shaun MacDonald gave the Scots a dream start by scoring after picking up a loose Welsh ball before Ben Cooper added the extras to put the Scots 7-0 ahead.
However, the homeside were down 7-12 at half time thanks to tries from Benjamin Roberts and Lewis Hudd, as well as a conversion from Jack Maynard.
Winger Ed Farquharson scored Scotland’s second try but the conversion went wide.
With the scores even with one minute left to play, Hallam Amos scored and Gareth Thomson converted to hand the Scots a loss.
The under 18s play England on March 18 at Mansfield Park, Hawick.
Meanwhile, the southside plays host to a monumental league clash this weekend as Cartha entertain GHA in premier three action at Dumbreck (3pm KO).
Top of the table GHA look even stronger than they did last time around, when they defeated their neighbours 39-13, with the return of several players from injury, including captain Niall Cassie.
Meanwhile, in premier C, Whitecraigs travel to top of the table Kelso in what will be a crucial match in the West Lodge side’s bid to remain in premier two next season.