Hawick’s Andrew Horne was on national service this week when he turned out for the Scotland Under-19 development squad as they came close to an incredible comeback from 18-0 down against the Georgia Under-20s at Meggetland to lose 21-17.
The visitors took a 19th-minute lead through a penalty by scrum-half Gela Aprasidze from in front of the posts and just before the break winger Akaki Tabutsadze went over for the opening try of the game and Georgia led 8-0.
Georgian winger Davit Meskhi scored his team’s second try and Beka Mamukshvili went over from close range to extend their lead to 18-0.
But Scotland never gave up and came battling back. Back-rower Tom Dodd scored from five yards out and Ayr centre Stafford McDowell then scored the first of two tries.
Tedo Abzhandadze kicked a penalty for Georgia, before McDowell scored from 25 yards out to bring Scotland to within four points of the visitors.
Scotland tried to get the all-important winning score but time wasn’t on their side and Georgia managed to hold on for the win.
Scotland team: Ben Appleson (Edinburgh Academicals)*; Kyle Roe (Falkirk), Stafford McDowall (Ayr), Cammy Hutchison CAPTAIN (Currie)**, Logan Trotter (Stirling County)*; Paddy Dewhirst (Ayr), Kaleem Barreto (Glenalmond College)*; Shaun Gunn (Edinburgh Academicals), Robbie Smith (Ayr)*, Fergus Bradbury (Stirling County/Oban Lorne)*, Dean Roger (Edinburgh Academicals)*, Jamie Hodgson (Stewart’s Melville)*, Andrew Horne (Hawick)*, Daniel Marek (Currie)*, Harry Henderson (Stirling County).
Replacements: Jack Samuel (Cardiff Metropolitan University), George Thorton (Bishop Burton College), Finn Hobbis (Stew-Mel)*, George Bordill (Northumbria University),Tom Dodd (Worcester Warriors), Ruaridh Dawson (Newcastle Falcons), Connor Eastgate (Wasps), Will Brown (Ipswich School)
* BT Sport Scottish Rugby Academy Stage 2 player 2016/17
** BT Sport Scottish Rugby Academy Stage 3 player 2016/17