A four-try Millard master-class saw Scotland Women defeat Sweden 32-0 at Meggetland today (Saturday). The Murrayfield Wanderers outside-centre showed exactly how she became last season’s top try and point scorer with some excellent takes and ‘right place, right time’ rugby. A short range pick and go from Hillhead / Jordanhill prop Heather Lockhart added to the try tally to see the Scots repeat the score-line from the sides’ previous encounter in 2004.
Pictured: Player of the game Lucy Millard evades the Swedish challenge on the way to the try line
A four-try Millard master-class saw Scotland Women defeat Sweden 32-0 at Meggetland today (Saturday).
The Murrayfield Wanderers outside-centre showed exactly how she became last season’s top try and point scorer with some excellent takes and ‘right place, right time’ rugby.
A short range pick and go from Hillhead / Jordanhill prop Heather Lockhart added to the try tally to see the Scots repeat the score-line from the sides’ previous encounter in 2004.
Scotland were on the score-sheet in the first five minutes through the boot of scrum-half Sarah Gill who slotted a penalty in front of the posts.
Despite the early lead, the Scots started the game slowly, showing signs of promise but lacking the cohesiveness that comes with the intensity of competitive fixtures.
It wasn’t until the 25th minute that Scotland first crossed the whitewash.
Watsonians hooker, Sarah-Lou Walker caught the defense off guard with surprising pace to break the gap at the half-way mark, bursting into the opposition 22.
Walker kept her composure in the face of the impending threat of two defenders, drawing them in and putting the prolific Millard clean through. Gill failed to add the extras. 8-0
After the score, Scottish nerves began to settle as structured play allowed deft offloads in contact to become more natural and frequent – particularly from first-time captain Lynne Reid and second-row pairing Louise Moffat and Lynsey Wheeler.
Five minutes later Millard was back on the score sheet.
Team Northumbria’s Wheeler showed good skill to draw her defender deep in the opposition 22 and put Millard through under the posts nine minutes before she completed her hat-trick with a solo effort which saw her arc around the Swedish backs to get the score.
Gill added the extras to both tries and Scotland went in at the break 22-0 up.
Half time: 22-0
Sweden started the second-half in earnest and a deft chip through by Karin Hedlund put early pressure on Lynsey Douglas just outside her 5m line however the confident full-back slid in to snuff out the tricky ball and was back on her feet to fend off the opposition as support arrived.
Ten minutes later head coach Jamie Dempsey began to ring changes with Laura Steven and Susi Brown coming on for full-back, Lynsey Douglas, and number 8, Keri Holdsworth.
Hillhead / Jordanhill’s Brown made an immediate impact gaining good yards with strong picks from the scrum as she sought to stake her claim for the starting role.
As time wore on without a score Scotland were occasionally guilty of trying to force the game.
However a good passage of phase play found the Scots deep in the Swedish half. Quick hands under intense pressure kept the ball alive before a ruck formed inches from the try line.
Scotland Womens’ international player of the year, Heather Lockhart, made no mistake as she picked at the base and dove for an unconverted try, 27-0.
With the game looking wrapped up, Lismore’s Joy Lyth and Stirling County’s Natalya Marcholla were then handed their debuts in place of open-side flanker Ruth Slaven and inside-centre Suzi Newton while Vik Blakebrough came on for Ronnie Fitzpatrick at right-wing with ten minutes left on the clock.
Player of the match, Millard, then completed her try-haul and Scotland’s victory with the final score of the afternoon five minutes before time.
Full time: 32-0
Speaking after his first game in charge of the side, Scotland Women head coach, Jamie Dempsey, said:
“We’re very happy to keep a clean sheet. Very rarely does it happen in rugby but in the last three games we’ve managed to do just that. We set that goal at half-time after establishing the lead and I thought we did really, really well to keep them at bay.
“There are five or six guys in the squad that haven’t been in the squad for a while, or at all, so getting that blend is going to take us time but they showed signs of their willingness to play for each other and play good rugby.
“For the 6 Nations we expect, as every Scotland team does, to go out there and play with a huge amount of passion and pride. We’ve got three home games against Wales, Italy and Ireland and, while we need to become a little bit more accurate in finishing off our chances, I thought our contact point was very good today and certainly sets us up well for the future as a force to be reckoned with.”
Scotland v Wales, Sunday 8 February, Meggetland, kick-off 12noon
France v Scotland, Sun 15 Feb, Northern Paris Suburbs, kick-off tbc
Scotland v Italy, Saturday 28 February, Meggetland, kick-off 12noon
Scotland v Ireland, Friday 13 March, Meggetland, kick-off 7.30pm
England v Scotland, Saturday 21 March, Esher RFC SW London, 1.30pm
15 Lynsey Douglas (Richmond)
14 Cara D'Silva (Royal High Corstorphine)
13 Lucy Millard VICE CAPTAIN (Murrayfield Wanderers)
12 Suzi Newton (Team Northumbria)
11 Ronnie Fitzpatrick (Royal High Corstorphine)
10 Erin Kerr (Richmond)
9 Sarah Gill (Murrayfield Wanderers)
1 Heather Lockhart (Hillhead / Jordanhill)
2 Sarah-Lou Walker (Watsonians)
3 Beth Dickens (Murrayfield Wanderers)
4 Louise Moffat (Kirkcaldy)
5 Lynsey Wheeler (Team Northumbria)
6 Lynne Reid CAPTAIN (Royal High Corstorphine)
7 Ruth Slaven (Murrayfield Wanderers)
8 Keri Holdsworth (Watsonians)
16 Alison MacDonald (Royal High Corstorphine)
17 Ellen Beattie (Murrayfield Wanderers)
18 Joy Lyth (Lismore)
19 Natalya Marcholla (Stirling County)
20 Susie Brown (Hillhead / Jordanhill)
21 Laura Steven (Murrayfield Wanderers)
22 Vik Blakebrough (Richmond)
15 Anna Holmstrom, 14 Karin Hedlund, 13 Cissi Lundin, 12 Frida Ryberg, 11 Ninni Johansson-Geibat, 10 Ulrika Andersson Hall CAPTAIN, 9 Louise Beaird, 1 Sofia Framling, 2 Kerstin Lovendahl, 3 Henrietta Hogberg, 4 Madde Lahti, 5 Katarina Boman, 6 Elisabeth Osterberg, 7 Anna-Lenna Swartz, 8 Jessica Berntsson
16 Erica Storckenfeldt, 17 Annika Hector, 18 Susanne Nilsson, 19 Viktoria Svangren, 20 Sofi Bjorkman, 21 Anna Larsson, 22 Erika Andersson, 23 Elisabeth Ygge, 24 Sofia Tortensson, 25 Jessica Melin, 26 Rafica Schneider