Women Secure Draw But Miss Chances For Victory

Scotland's Women came back from a lacklustre first-half performance this afternoon (28 February) to draw 6-all with their Italian opponents in Colleferro in their third game of this 6 Nations, and their first away win in the tournament since 2006.

Two penalties from Sarah Gill in the second half put the points on the board after a similar score from their opponents in the opening period of play.

Head coach Gary Parker said:"The first forty minutes were poor and we didn't get into the game at all. However we responded to that with probably the best 20 minutes we've had, at the start of the second half, moving the ball well and executing good moves.

"Stephanie [Johnston] made her international debut today, too. She came through the Academy and the A programme - you never know how soon the call may come to join the national side and to be thrown in on the wing like she was, she did really well.

Having posted victory over France 10-8 in their first game and being defeated 28-12 by Wales in the second, the side now anticipate a home encounter with England before their final game away to Ireland, in the build-up to this year's Women's Rugby World Cup.

Sarah Gill kicked all the points for the Scots

Taking the lead on the field from the whistle, first score of the game came from Italy's number 10, Schiavon, with a penalty that found the gap between the posts (11min) followed by another successful attempt just before the break (36min) to put the home side ahead by half time; 6-0.

Running out for the second forty minutes with renewed conviction, the Scots dictated the pace and took control of the game, leading to a penalty for replacement Sarah Gill (53min) which she followed up less than 20 minutes later with another successful attempt, to draw the scores level; 6-6.

The Italians missed a penalty in the last 20 minutes but the Scots were left disappointed not to come away with the win.

After the game Gary Parker said: "We faced a lot of challenges during the match - we lost our hooker early in the first half, both wingers went off injured at the same time but we managed to turn the game around at 6-0 down.

"After three 6 Nations games we've posted just one defeat; but this was an opportunity missed and we're disappointed with a draw.

Commenting on Scotland Women A's 48-0 defeat of British Police yesterday Parker added: "Players like Stephanie Johnston, who made her debut today, have come up through the Academy and Scotland A squads, which shows that the programme is working and that we're able to call these players into the national side with confidence."

In yesterday's other game, Scotland Women Academy just lost out to England colleges, 10-5, at Halhill, Dunbar.

Scotland Women v Italy Women at Colleferro (kick-off 1.30pm GMT / 2.30pm local)

15 Celia Hawthorn (Edinburgh University)

14 Lynsey Douglas (London Wasps)
13 Lucy Millard (Team Northumbria)
12 Veronica Fitzpatrick (RHC Cougars)
11 Victoria Blakebrough (Richmond)

10 Tanya Griffith (RHC Cougars)
9 Louise Dalgliesh (RHC Cougars)

1 Heather Lockhart (Hillhead / Jordanhill)
2 Sarah-Louise Walker (Watsonians)
3 Gillian McCord (RHC Cougars)
4 Louise Moffat (Murrayfield Wanderers)
5 Lindsay Wheeler (Team Northumbria)
6 Lynne Reid (RHC Cougars) (CAPTAIN)
8 Susie Brown (Richmond)
7 Donna Kennedy (Worcester)

Replacements
16
Sarah Quick (Murrayfield Wanderers) (on for Walker, injured, 30min)
17 Beth Dickens (Murrayfield Wanderers) (on for McCord, 72min)
18 Natalya Macholla (Stirling County)
19 Ruth Slaven (Murrayfield Wanderers) (on for Reid, 76mins)
20 Sarah Gill (Murrayfield Wanderers) (on for Dalgliesh, 40min)
21 Laura Steven (Murrayfield Wanderers)
22 Stephanie Johnston (Hillhead / Jordanhill) (on for Douglas, 30min)