Scotland Women (0) v Ireland Women (23)
A spirited start by Scotland, on a mild evening at Meggetland, augered well for an evenly-matched game. However some slip-ups from the home side saw the visitors go ahead 0-6 after giving away two penalties (22 and 29 minutes) – hands in the ruck, then persistent infringement leading to a yellow card for Louise Moffat. Both attempts, by Ireland’s Niamh Briggs, slotted safely over the bar.
Emotions heightened as the Scots battled well in the second phase of the first half, though a chance to break back was lost and another penalty given away – this time wide of the mark by Briggs.
Scotland’s backs did well in defense, restricting the opposition when down to 14 players. Just before Moffat’s return to the field, however, a late tackle on Briggs by Lana Blyth resulted in the home side being penalised. Shortly after, during injury time, a solo break by Briggs found the whitewash, though the conversion was short.
Half time: 0-11
Early in the second half (42 mins), a break from 30m out by Tania Rosser saw the Irish add another try, successfully converted by Briggs.
As the wind picked up, both sides began to find the conditions more challenging, and Scotland worked up some good line breaks which, unfortunately, came to nothing.
A flurry of substitutions followed midway through the half, before Lynn Cantwell grabbed her chance to cross the line (69 mins); Briggs missed the conversion.
Though the home team battled to the last, the score stood at 0-23.
Afterward, Head Coach Jamie Dempsey said: “Credit to the Irish who thoroughly deserved their victory. And credit to our team for the way they defended – all the players worked their socks off for each other. It’s a shame the scoreline doesn’t reflect that, on our day, we can beat Ireland, however. It would have been nice to have had a bit more of the ball, to have shown what we can really do.”
With a vociferous crowd to cheer them on, Jamie and the team were highly appreciative of the great support they’d received. “Friday night rugby gives such a tremendous atmosphere – and it’s great to see so many people coming along to cheer us on. The women’s game is growing in popularity and a turnout like this proves it.”
Scores: Ireland Women: Tries: Niamh Briggs, Tania Rosser, Lynne Cantwell; Con: Niamh Briggs; Pens: Niamh Briggs (2)
Player of the Match: Niamh Briggs (Ireland)
15 Lucy Millard (Murrayfield Wanderers), 14 Cara D’Silva (Royal High Corstorphine), 13 Laura Steven (Murrayfield Wanderers), 12 Erin Kerr (Richmond), 11 Victoria Blakebrough (Richmond), 10 Tanya Griffith (Royal High Corstorphine), 9 Louise Dalgliesh (Royal High Corstorphine), 1 Heather Lockhart (Hillhead / Jordanhill), 2 Sarah-Louise Walker (Watsonians), 3 Beth Dickens (Murrayfield Wanderers), 4 Louise Moffat (Kirkcaldy), 5 Lana Blyth (Murrayfield Wanderers), 6 Lynne Reid CAPTAIN (Royal High Corstorphine), 8 Susie Brown (Hillhead / Jordanhill), 7 Ruth Slaven (Murrayfield Wanderers)
Replacements: 16 Nikki McLeod (Edinburgh University) (on for Slaven), 17 Ellen Beattie (Murrayfield Wanderers) (on for Dickens), 18 Joy Lyth (Lismore) (on for Moffat), 19 Keri Holdsworth (Watsonians) (on for tbc), 20 Sarah Gill (Murrayfield Wanderers) (on for Dalgliesh), 21 Suzi Newton (Team Northumbria) (on for Griffith), 22 Lynsey Douglas (Richmond) (unused)