A controversial late try from centre Conor Doherty gave England Under-20s their first win on Scottish soil since 2014, but the home side can take huge encouragement from their own performance as they build towards their next match away to Italy in two weeks’ time.

The Scots battled into the lead on three separate occasions during the course of this gripping 80-minute battle, but ultimately lost out when Doherty streaked under the posts with 10 minutes left on the clock, and Manu Vunipola – cousin Billy and Mako – converted to secure the away win. It was a particularly bitter pill to swallow because there appeared to be a very clear forward pass in the build-up to that score. However, with no TMO, the referee was totally dependent on his own and his touch judge’s eyes picking it up in real time.

“I’m so proud of the boys,” said head coach Sean Lineen. “The way they got stuck-in, both in attack and defence, but like the game against Ireland last week we paid a price for a just a few lapses which let them in for three tries.”

The Scots started brightly and were soon 3-0 up thanks to a Nathan Chamberlain penalty butallowed England straight back into it through hooker Theo Dan.

Ewan Ashman got the downward pressure following an impressive line-out drive from the hosts before England’s Freddie Steward scored a try before the interval. Scotland dominated the third quarter and recorded a penalty try on 57 minutes, and it looked like that might be enough – but it wasn’t to be.

Similarly, the Scotland Club XV put in a spirited showing against their Irish counterparts in Dublin last night but ultimately came up short, losing 22-17. Scottish captain Fergus Scott said: “If we can keep the nucleus of this squad together next year, we will fancy our chances.”