Scotland under-20 head coach Kenny Murray praised his side not for their 15 tries in the rout of Hong Kong China, but for keeping the visitors scoreless at Hive Stadium.  

Despite being thrashed by Japan in their tournament opener on Tuesday, Hong Kong China scored three tries, but were shut out by Scotland this afternoon.  

Murray said: “The big pleasing thing for me was that HK scored a few tries against Japan whereas they didn’t today and I thought the boys showed some good sets in defence. 

“When you are winning by a few points it can be easy to slip off things and slip off the physicality, but I thought the boys were excellent in that regard.” 

Murray admitted it would have been easy for complacency to set in as Scotland racked up a big score but praised his charges for a professional performance.  

He said: “We spoke about character before the game and games like this show a group’s character.  

You have two choices you can either go out and play well and win ok, or you can go out and show a ruthless streak and although it wasn’t perfect I thought the boys showed good character. 

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“One of our key three things we spoke about before the game was physicality and not dropping off. 

“We had a couple of brilliant sets of defence in the second half when we could have easily let them in so that was pleasing.” 

Murray made 10 changes for this match as he chose to give many of his first-choice players a rest. Captain Liam McConnell, back-row star Freddy Douglas and prop Robbie Deans all went off at half-time as Murray chose to manage their minutes.  

But number eight Jonny Morris is unlikely to feature in Friday’s crunch match against Japan after limping off with a hamstring problem.  

Murray added: “It didn't look too great but we'll see how he is.” 

Lock Dylan Cockburn also limped off in the closing stages as Scotland finished with 14 men, but Murray revealed the lock had cramp and his removal was purely precautionary.  

“Just cramp,” was Murray’s verdict on the second row, before the Scotland head coach added: “He hasn’t played as many minutes recently, just a precaution. 

Scotland under-20 head coach Kenny MurrayScotland under-20 head coach Kenny Murray (Image: SNS)

Despite hitting a century for the second consecutive match, Murray knows there will be tougher challenges ahead for his side, starting with Japan on Friday night.  

“There are things we can improve on for sure,” he said.  

“I thought our discipline let us down at times we gave away silly penalties and then a few things around contact were slow. 

“We will talk about that tomorrow night in our review.”