England’s senior rugby team made hard work of their victory over Scotland yesterday. They might have done well to follow the lead of their junior counterparts at Newbury on Friday night, when Whitgift School sixth former Elliot Daly scored three tries in a 58-6 under-20s win.
The hat-tick brings Daly’s tally to seven tries in four games. Against Scotland, Daly’s first try came in the opening minutes of the match, and saw him pounce on an opportunist cross-field kick to touch down, and set the tone for the rest of the game.
Daly, 18, has made a dramatic arrival in the under-20s Six Nations tournament. Modestly, the outside centre gave the credit to his team mates. “I think I only ran the minimum amount of yardage for my three against Scotland, and that’s all down to the hard work of the players around me,” Daly said.
“Scotland caused us a few problems, they held possession for long periods, but we held our shape and kept them at bay.”
Daly, who made his senior debut for London Wasps before Christmas when still only 17, can expect to be in the England side to play at Athlone in Ireland at the weekend, when a win will secure the Grand Slam – although the very mention of the “G” word remains banned in the England camp, senior and junior.
“We know what we can achieve but you put that to the back of your mind and concentrate on the task in hand,” Daly said. “It’s just another game and if we win that then the rewards will come afterwards.”