More attack but no gloss finish for Women in Italy

Scotland Women took on their Italian counterparts in L'Aquila yesterday, in a warm-up match as part of their season build-up to next year's 6 Nations.

Pic: Gillian Inglis and Laura Steven fell the opposition [pic courtesy GJD'ANGELO Fotografica]

Despite a much improved performance, the Scots were defeated, 27-3, Scotland's successful penalty coming from stand-off Lisa Martin in the first half.

Italy put the first points on the board, after solid work from the Scots in attack and defence, when winger Sillari scored near the 15-minute mark. The try was unconverted and the Scots answered back with Martin's penalty, duly matched by a similar score from her opposite number Rigoni to make it 8-3 to the hosts on the half-hour.

Just short of half time, the Italians made the most of an open line and their centre, Cioffi, touched down, the score converted by Rigoni again, to make it 15-3 at the break.

With Scotland seeing by far more of the possession in the second half and the Italians picking up a yellow card, the visitors fought hard to take advantage of their opportunities but it was the Italians who scored again, into the last 15 minutes, courtesy of winger Magatti, who touched down again on the whistle, the score converted again by Rigoni.

All players had the chance for a run-out, with Mhairi Grieve and Hannah Sloan making their debut in the starting XV and Christianne Fahey, Hattie Cumber, Claire Bain and Eilidh Sinclair coming off the bench to earn their first caps, too.

Reflecting on the match, head coach Jules Maxton rued the missed opportunity to even the score following the Scots' defeat to Italy in this year's 6 Nations.

She said: "We dominated the second half, had by far the majority of the possession yet they scored off our errors. There was a knock-on, they picked it up and capitalised successfully on that mistake, and so on.

"It was a step forward for the team, however. We managed to maximise our own set piece, especially the scrum - we just couldn't get the ball over the line.

"Mentally we're in the best place; we just need to be able to finish. We have the knowledge and skills - now we need to be able to apply them in the right circumstances."

The squad continue with weekly skills sessions and training days over the next two months in preparation for their three home games (Wales, Italy and Ireland) and two away fixtures (France and England) in the 2015 6 Nations.

Scotland Women team v Italy

15 Gillian Inglis    Melrose

14 Hannah Sloan   Stewarty   *

13 Laura Steven    Murrayfield Wanderers

12 Leanne Neary    RHC Cougars

11 Stephanie Johnston     Worcester

10 Lisa Martin     Murrayfield Wanderers

9 Mhairi Grieve     RHC Cougars [pictured above: GJD'ANGELO Fotografica]   *

 

1 Heather Lockhart     Hillhead Jordanhill

2 Lana Skeldon    Melrose

3 Tracy Balmer     Worcester

4 Deborah McCormack   Richmond

5 Emma Wassell   Murrayfield Wanderers

6 Lyndsay O’Donnell   Worcester

7 Tess Forsberg   Richmond

8 Rachael Cook    Murrayfield Wanderers

 

Substitutes (all used)

16 Sarah Quick     Murrayfield Wanderers

17 Lisa Robertson     Murrayfield Wanderers

18 Christianne Fahey    Murrayfield Wanderers   *

19 Jade Konkel    Hillhead Jordanhill

20 Karen Dunbar   RHC Cougars

21 Claire Bain   RHC Cougars   *

22 Harriet Cumber     Murrayfield Wanderers   *

23 Eilidh Sinclair   Murrayfield Wanderers   *

* debut cap