“We’ve shown what we can do now” – Munro reflects on win

Head coach Shade Munro was delighted with the progress the Scotland Women squad have made during their training camp this week, culminating in today’s (Sunday 22 November) 34-10 win over Spain in Madrid.

He said: “Everyone played really well and I’m very pleased. We’ve put in the training sessions this week and it shows what the players can do, the difference an intense period of training can make.”

The camp is the most concentrated, in terms of time, with the largest squad – 37 players and 13 coaching and management – assembled in the Scotland women’s game. It received significant funding through Erasmus+, a programme established by the European Commission that allows students and employees to experience cultural and work exchanges throughout Europe, through vocational and educational training.

Despite missing a number of the wider squad, due to work commitments, Munro underlined the benefit of having a larger pool of prospective players to call on this season, so increasing the strength in depth.

“We’ve brought in a bigger number of players to our camps this season which has meant we’re not just focused on the same 23 people.

 “They’ve all brought a variety skills to the table but they’ve been organised, they’ve bought into what we do and have embraced the opportunity.”

While pleased with the whole team performance, Munro bestowed particular praise on his leader on the field in today’s win, Edinburgh-born stand-off Lisa Martin.

He said: “Lisa was an outstanding captain, kicking goals, scoring and leading the team by example.

“Karen Dunbar [at openside] was a standout for her work rate, Jade [Konkel, no 8] put in some great tackles and Rhona [Lloyd, wing] was so fast in attack.”

Praising the overall performance, and the growing confidence of the players as the match progressed, Munro did however highlight certain areas where he had noticed the most improvement.

He said: “Defence is top of the list – we kept it down to two tries against us – we heaped the pressure on them and didn’t allow them to score.

“The players’ willingness to play and to attack was really pleasing, too. Have been wary in the past, that’s not the case now.

“Then their enjoyment of the game was great to see – they really loved playing today and that pleased me so much, that’s what it’s all about.

“By giving the players the licence to play freely – if it’s on to kick it then kick it – that freedom brings the confidence to make decisions, and they made the right decisions today.”

The squad now have two more days at training camp in Valladolid and will embrace the time remaining to further enhance their learning. Monday will focus on recovery and analysis while Tuesday will turn to weights and individual skills.

Squad selection following this camp will result in a training group reconvening in December and on to an eight-day camp in the lead-up to the 6 Nations.

Munro added:

“Momentum has been created at this camp after this win, the players are enjoying their game, are motivated by the achievement and growing in confidence in their abilities.”