Scots let promising first half slip

A solid defensive performance in the first half (0-6) of Scotland’s debut home game at their new base of Broadwood promised much for the remaining 40 minutes. However despite a penalty early in the second half, the Scots were unable to maintain the pressure and lost momentum to record a 3-39 full-time score.

 

After the match a disappointed head coach Jules Maxton said: “For 50 minutes I felt we were in the game, I felt it was there to be won and we put Wales under a lot of pressure.

“They made some good breaks but I thought we defended really well. We looked dangerous with the ball in space and I think we fronted up physically. Unfortunately in the second half we seemed to switch off and the Welsh quite rightly took advantage of that and fired in some tries.”

The turning point came after a lengthy delay in the action as Scotland’s Hannah Smith was attended to after coming off worse in a tackle, but Maxton was quick to dismiss the connection.

“We don’t do excuses – Wales had the injury stop too but they reacted in a positive way. We didn’t play well after that but it’s the same for everybody. It’s the same as the other night night when the lights went out in Ireland – both teams have to deal with it.”

Both teams came out of the blocks firing and pressure from the Welsh saw winger Laurie Harries slotting two penalties in the first quarter to post a 6-0 lead.

After a full-on try-saving tackle, winger Abi Evans was floored and left the field temporarily for assessment, however duly returned.

While Scotland’s defensive effort couldn’t be faulted the hard work didn’t see them move from their territory and forays over the halfway line were rare, the scoreline standing 0-6 at half time.

 The Scots came out firing for the second half, however, and the 623 support had barely taken their seats when a penalty was nailed, at distance and in her own inimitable style, by centre Nuala Deans to make it 3-6

The action ping-ponged from end to end and the Scots looked to be building to another attacking phase when Smith sustained her injury and play stopped at the 50 minutes mark. She subsequently left the field to be checked over in hospital, merely as a precaution.

The break gave Wales the chance to regroup and they increased their lead when Sioned Harries powered over, Laurie Harries again converting (3-20). With just over ten minutes remaining they scored their third try of the half when full-back Hywel went over in the corner to make the score 3-25.

After being shown the yellow card for a high tackle, lock Deborah McCormack left the field and Welsh stand-off Elinor Snowsill added another try which Laurie Harries again converted to make it 3-32. Scotland looked to have contained the attack but replacement hooker Amy Lawrence went over in the final minute and Harries again converted to make the final score 3-39.

Player of the match No 8 Jade Konkel said:

“It’s still a learning curve – we showed what we can do in the first 50 minutes of the game, we just need to play like that for the full 80.

“We’ve got a good set piece so we want to build on that.

“I’m really looking forward to Italy I think we can put up such a big game against them.”

The 6 Nations takes a break next weekend then Scotland face Italy at Broadwood on Sunday 1 March (kick-off 1pm). Tickets are on sale at £5 (adults) with concessions free.