Scotland Women V Ireland Women
Scotland Women showed what they’re made off against a strong Irish side, scoring two tries and holding onto a draw until the dying minutes of the game in their 2017 Six Nations opener at Broadwood Stadium.
Number 8 Jade Konkel marked her return to international rugby following seven months out with injury by securing both of Scotland’s tries and earning player of the match for her efforts.
Ireland answered back with two tries in each half with the fourth in the last play of the game to win 15-22.
The visitors kicked off but were on the back foot with Scotland’s forwards driving Ireland back with a strong maul followed by a series of positive phases that resulted in Konkel’s first pick and go try at the four-minute mark.
Scrum-half Sarah Law added the extras to increase the lead 7-0. Ireland answered back with two tries through Sene Naoupu and Alison Miller to keep the visitors in contention, but Konkel reacted and touched down for her second to edge Scotland ahead 12-10.
After a solid first start at hooker for Scotland, Rachel Malcolm was replaced by Lucy Park after suffering an injury at the end of the first half.
Scotland were awarded a penalty at 36 minutes which Law duly converted in the slippery conditions to give her side a five-point lead going into the break.
HALF-TIME: Scotland 15 – 10 Ireland
A slower start to the second half saw both squads struggle to build phases. Scotland were down to 14 players after prop Lindsey Smith was yellow carded for an infringement in the lineout.
Ireland capitalised and front-row Lindsay peat crashed over taking the score to 15-15 early in the second half.
It was in the last quarter that centre Lisa Thomson made a powerful break to get Scotland and the crowd back into the match, but a fumbled offload gave Ireland possession and kicked into the hands of full-back Chloe Rollie who stormed up the pitch but was caught short.
Prop Heather Lockhart won her 85th cap when she came on to replace Tracy Balmer and after a sturdy scrum in Ireland’s half, centre Helen Nelson chipped the ball which Ireland knocked on to see them scrum again in the Irish 22.
Nelson looked for the break but Ireland reacted and made it hard for Scotland to reach the try line. Head Coach Shade Munro rung the changes to freshen up the Scottish side with lock Sarah Bonar and scrum-half Jenny Maxwell taking to the field.
The tension heightened as the final minutes approached with the score remaining 15-15 and Ireland piling the pressure in the Scots’ 22.
Scotland kept the work rate up and made it difficult for their opponents whose discipline scuppered their attack, but as the clock struck 80-minutes, centre Jenny Murphy found a gap and touched down between the posts, following an Irish line-out on Scotland’s five metre line.
Their first successful conversion of the match brought the final score to 15-22 to finish a tense affair on a cold, wet night in Cumbernauld.