Scotland v England Flag Internationals

Flying the ‘Flag

Saturday 5th November saw the culmination of the National Program ‘Flag’ activity for the year with the Home Nations tournament for Cadet, Juniors and Youth.

This year saw the Scotland Development Squad (SDS) hosting the matches at their home field Forthbank in Stirling and in his first year as England Head Coach Jon Tait brought a strong team North for the games with the new England Youth Squad giving him a full complement of teams for the first time.

The format of the day would see Team England take on the Scotland A team in a straight game for the title of British Champions for 2005. These games would then be followed by a match against the Scotland B squads giving the developing Scottish players a chance to run out against high class opposition and giving the English players an additional game having travelled so far. The day was to be rounded off with

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Winning Scotland ‘A’Squad

In the photo from L-R

Back row - Scotland Headcoach Mark Bramwell, Chris Gordon, Adam Ingram, Andrew Burns, Scott McIntosh, Assistant coach Robbie Paulin

Front Row – Nicholas Halfpenny, Paul Kirkland, Neil Shepherd, John McEwan, Thomas Allison

the GB Lions players and staff reforming their teams from the European championships on one sideline and all the other participants of the day forming a ‘rest of the world’ squad on the other sideline for a fun ‘scrimmage’ game to finish off.


The SDS have an established program running youth teams for three years and this experience showed during the game. Whilst the English players showed individual skill this was their first time playing together. The Scots capitalised on this and through crisp and organised execution of their game plan quickly moved into a lead which they maintained throughout the game finally running out winners 12 - 45.

The English squad were looking for revenge in the second game against the B squad and certainly ran them close, but the depth of the Scots squad was too much them and the Scots won again 14-19.


Both nations have long established programs at Junior level and this always promised to be an exceptional game. The English took the upper hand early on by stopping the Scots’ opening drive and then scoring on their opening drive. The Scots’ next drive was then brought to a dramatic stop when the ball was intercepted by England who went on to score again and open up a 14 lead.

The remainder of the game swung back and forward between the teams but the Scots could never regain the ground that they had lost so early on and Team England ran out winners


Scotland B tried to revenge their A team counterparts and held England very close but the English were too strong for them and again ran out winners 33-25.


There is a tremendous rivalry between the two nations at Cadet level with the 2 GB Cadet coaches being split on either sideline.

The Scots offence was productive from the outset and quickly established their ability to score on every drive. England on the other hand struggled offensively due to constant blitzing from the Scots which never let them settle and by half time the Scots had established a 3TD lead in the game.

England were not for giving up though and a change in offensive tactic saw them start to exploit the Scots heavy blitzing by passing over the blitzer to their Wide receivers on post routes. The Scots defence adjusted to counter this and the tone was set for the remainder of the game. England offence found it difficult to penetrate the defence whilst the Scottish running game gave them an edge which they never lost. Scotland ran out winners with a score of 26 - 54.

The Scotland B team were determined to emulate their A team colleagues and through solid play established a 2 point lead 12-14 at the half. The English Cadets were not finished though and they went on to show tremendous spirit and fought back and with the only score of the second half clinched the game 19-14.

The GB Lions scrimmages were certainly a spectacle, with great skill being shown not only from the Lions but also from the massed ranks of the ‘other’ sideline. The ‘other’ teams were always a mixture of Scots and English and the spirit of fun which permeated this part of the day was tremendous.

Performing the presentation of trophies Scotland and GB Head Coach Charlie Ewing praised both the National Programs staff and Players not only for their skill but also their attitude and sportsmanlike approach to the whole day. Being interviewed afterwards he went on to say ‘This is a great day. Honours split between the nations and 90 kids getting to live out their dream of playing for their countries. The level of football is far higher than I have seen before during Home Nation matches and that can only be good for the sport as a whole’.

The SDS staff would like to thank everyone involved in the program this year for helping out throughout the year and for helping ensure such a fine day could take place.