Ireland Women v Scotland Women

Scotland travelled to Dublin knowing that their last away win away came in the Six Nations some 12 years ago.

Improved performances against France and England had showed that the team were able to compete in spells and a committed team effort with two tries won them an historic victory.

Scotland were unable to capitalise on early pressure and a kickable penalty when they went for the corner instead and lost the ball from the resulting squint throw.

Ireland’s clearance was poor, however, and a neat line-out move and phase-play took Scotland to underneath the posts. Ireland gave up the penalty for offside and the kick was a formality for Helen Nelson to give Scotland the lead.

Both sides played attack minded rugby in the opening quarter but couldn’t quite make things stick in the final third of the field. A couple of forays deep into Irish territory yielded no scores and Scotland still led by three after 20 minutes.

The next chance came to extend the Scottish lead when Ireland slapped the ball down during a promising period but the attempt slid just right.

Much of the remainder of the half was played in the centre of the pitch but Ireland looked to finish with a flourish on the attack. They ripped Scottish ball and carried with purpose but came undone five metres out when a knock-on gave Scotland a scrum to end the half.

Half Time | Ireland 0 – 3 Scotland

Scotland wasted no time in making a statement in the second half. They worked into the opposition 22 and quick ball created space for Nelson to power over and extend the lead to 15. Her own conversion was unsuccessful.

The score seemed to spark Ireland into life and a destructive maul earned them a line-out on the five-metre line. They crossed the try-line once but Scotland held them up to force a scrum but there was no stopping Ireland as their dominant pack sent the referee beneath the posts for a penalty try.

The hosts kept things tight from then on, using mauls and scrums to target Scotland.

Winning a short-range penalty they picked the scrum and won another.

Megan Kennedy, winning her fourth cap and start, was sent to the sin bin when the next set-piece collapsed but Jade Konkel moving to prop seemed to shore things up and Ireland had to go through the backs. The ball squirted loose and, although Scotland briefly claimed it, Ireland won another penalty.

This time they went for the corner but again faltered and Scotland breathed a sigh of relief.

The visitors would go on to lose the scrum against the head but speedster Rollie latched onto a pass from Ireland captain Griffin to go the length of the field, stepping the Irish fullback in the process. Skeldon stepped up to add the extras and give Scotland an eight-point advantage once more.

Ireland’s response was quick and relentless. They used close runners to make ground and get over the line and the TMO was called in to play. The try would be given but the missed simple conversion meant that the Irish would need a try if they were to get the win.

Scotland came back well and played the majority of the last ten minutes in the opposition half before a late penalty gave Ireland one last shot in the form of a line-out just inside Scottish territory.

The Scots challenged the throw and spoiled the ball for Ireland claiming possession and with it a memorable victory on the road.

Full Time | Ireland 12 – 15 Scotland

Scotland travel to Padova, Italy next week where they will close the tournament (Sunday 18 March, kick-off 2pm GMT) and will be aiming for back-to-back away victories for the first time since 2006.

live commentary 1:00 PM Sunday 11 Mar 2018

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