Scotland’s Women faced world champions England Women at Broadwood on Friday night, but the world cup winners were too strong for the Scotland side, taking a 32-0 victory on the opening night of the Women’s Six Nations Championship.
Scotland made an exciting start after a bad kick from England meant they were awarded a scrum just moments after the first whistle, but a promising break from Chloe Rollie eventually ended in a penalty for the visitors.
A strong drive from an England maul took them to within five metres of the try line, but a good tackle from Scotland captain Lisa Martin drove them into touch. The Scottish defence prevented England from breaking through and a clearing kick from Martin gave the home team a bit of breathing space.
A series of dangerous English line outs were well defended by Scotland, and a strong run from Centre Lisa Thomson almost took the Scots into England’s half for the first time in the match.
England took a while to get warmed up, a new team set-up proved to be taking some getting used to. Scotland gave England a run for their money in the first half and with the score still at 0-0 after 20 minutes, Scotland seemed very much in the game.
A exciting Scottish break from Sarah Quick looked promising, but the ball was turned over and a kick that didn’t quite make it into touch from England ended up working out in their favour, as Saracens Centre Lauren Cattell made it over the try line to get the first points on the board for England, Amber Reed missing the conversion.
England seemed to have a renewed confidence after their first try, which led to Lichfield flanker Harriet Miller-Mills making it over the try line for their second. Amber Reed’s second conversion attempt was a success, taking the score to 0-12.
A Scottish scrum within the England 22 just before half time presented a real opportunity for the home team to get some points on the board, with a brilliant dummy run from Lisa Martin, but the English defence prevented the Scottish attack getting through.
Amber Reed ended the first half with a penalty, taking the score to 0-15, which was perhaps a fairer reflection of Scotland’s efforts during this game than the final score.
A good run from Winger Rhona Lloyd at the start of the second looked promising, half before Scotland were awarded a penalty, their first opportunity to get some points on the board. Unfortunately Hooker Lana Skeldon didn’t manage to get it between the posts.
A few missed tackles from Scotland lead Miller-Mills scored her second try of the night, but a change of kicker was to no avail as Lauren Cattell’s attempt went wide leaving the score at 0-20.
A powerful driving maul from England led to their fourth try, scored by captain Sarah Hunter, and England’s conversion from Cattell went wide once again.
The Scotland attack were quick off the ball during the second half, but were struggling to hold on to it, perhaps starting to panic slightly as the clock was ticking down.
Scotland Number 8 Jade Konkel presented Scotland’s best attacking opportunity before she was stopped just 5 metres short of the line. A combination of England’s strong defence and some slightly panicky play by Scotland saw the ball into touch and an England line out.
A charge down on a kick from Lisa Martin led to England’s fifth and final try from Lucy Demaine. Cattell successfully converted for an extra two points, meaning the final score was 0-32 to England.
Some excellent defence and strong tackles from Scotland prevented the scoreline from being higher, and it was a shame they couldn’t get any points on the board to reflect their valiant efforts.
MOM was England’s blindside flanker and two try scorer Harriet Milner-Mills.
Both the women’s match and the U20s match were streamed live on Scotland Rugby’s YouTube channel. Coverage will also be provided of the matches against France Women and France U20s.
Scotland’s next game is against Wales Women at The Gnoll on Sunday February 14th.
Scotland: Chloe Rollie, Megan Gaffney, Hannah Smith, Lisa Thomson, Rhona Lloyd, Lisa Martin, Sarah Law; Jade Konkel, Karen Dunbar, Jemma Forsyth, Deborah McCormack, Emma Wassell, Lindsey Smith, Lana Skeldon, Tracy Balmer.
Replacements: Sarah Quick, Debbie Falconer, Heather Lockhart, Fiona Sim, Anna Stodter, Jennifer Maxwell, Lauren Harris, Eilidh Sinclair.
England: Katie Mason, Ruth Laybourn, Lauren Cattell, Ceri Large, Lotte Clapp, Amber Reed, La Toya Mason; Sarah Hunter, Izzy Noel-Smith, Harriet Millar-Mills, Emily Braund, Abbie Scott, Vickii Cornborough, Amy Cokayne, Rochelle Clark.
Replacements: Heather Kerr, Emma Croker, Bee Dawson, Courtney Gill, Poppy Cleall, Bianca Blackburn, Lucy Demaine, Leanne Riley.