Springbok Women v Scotland Women
Scotland score eight on their way to victory in South Africa
Report - South Africa 5 Scotland 47
It was a historic day for Scotland as they not only played their first-ever match in the Southern Hemisphere but also recorded one of their biggest victories in a decade.
Tries from Rollie, Lloyd, Gaffney, Thomson and Evans, and the ever-reliable boot of Sarah Law ensured Scotland a 5-47 win in their first Test match against South Africa in Cape Town.
From the first line-out, won by Louise McMillan, Scotland went through the phases confidently and remained patient in their attack. It wasn’t long until Chloe Rollie dotted down the first of Scotland’s seven tries following a great team effort in the opening few minutes of the match. Sarah Law was short on the kick to leave the Scots with a narrow lead. (0-5, 4mins)
Scotland gathered possession from the restart and were rewarded as South Africa were forced into scrappy defence. It was from a set piece that the next try came for Scotland. Winning their third line out in quick succession, Scotland worked the ball to Hannah Smith who broke through South Africa’s line at pace. All that was left was for Rhona Lloyd to take the ball all the way for Scotland’s second try of the match. Sarah Law added the extras. (0-12, 9mins)
Soon after frustrations became apparent in the South African camp as a high tackle on Rachel McLachlan resulted in a yellow card and the hosts temporarily reduced to 14. However, despite the lighting start by Scotland the home team started to find their way into the game, creating some positive attacking opportunities. It took strong and disciplined defence to halt their strong runners.
After soaking up a period of South African pressure, Scotland once again showed the threat they possess with Smith and Rollie continually causing the defence headaches with fast breaks and quick footwork. And before long Rhona Lloyd was in on the act once again, using the fast legs that served Scotland Women 7s so well all summer to score her second try of the game. (0-17, 19mins)
Scotland started to assert their dominance on the match, but if it wasn’t for some dogged defence by South Africa on their line the try count could have increased sooner. Quick line speed and dominant hits from the visitors forced South Africa into errors which gave Scotland ample opportunity to work on their scrum, of which they did confidently.
Soon the pressure became too much and after another Lloyd-Rollie combo, it was Rollie this time that finished off the move for her second try of the match. Skeldon’s kick went just shy of the posts but Scotland now sat with a comfortable lead going into the final minutes of the first half. (0-22, 34 mins)
However, South Africa had other ideas and came alive in attack. They had Scotland pinned back on their line as the buzzer for half time went, and that’s where they stayed for the next five minutes as they thwarted the hosts time and time again with some first-class backs to the wall defence. After holding the ball up twice, the Scots forced the handling error from South Africa and jubilant scenes and fist pumps roared from the Scottish line as they defended their clean sheet with as much intensity and effort as they had shown throughout the first half.
Half-time: South Africa 0 Scotland 22
If the growing crowd thought their team would come out fighting in the second half, Scotland soon put pay to that. In the opening minute of the second half Smith stole the ball, passed onto Megan Gaffney who finished expertly in the corner. The southerly South African wind blew Skeldon’s kick wide. (0-27, 41mins)
However, the Scots were not going to have it all their way as a break from South Africa down the wing resulted in their first score of the match. Chloe Rollie chased in vain as the strong number 8 Aseza Hele powered over the line, taking Rollie with her. (5-27, 48mins)
Jenny Maxwell replaced Grieve at scrum-half and made an impact straight away as her quick thinking at a penalty caught South Africa unawares, leading to an early tackle and for the second time in the match found themselves with a yellow card and a player down. Sarah Law went for the posts for an extra three points to the visitors. (5-30, 54mins)
Less than five minutes later the lead was extended as Lisa Thomson scored her first try of the season, going down the wing, breaking through the South African line to go down under the posts with a powerful direct run. Sarah Law added the extras. (5-37, 59mins)
A successful line out for Scotland on the South African 5m line gave Scotland the chance to exploit the space out wide again. Abi Evans, fresh onto the wing, was just pulled into touch one metre shy of the line as she dived for the corner.
It was to be second time lucky for Evans though as she crossed the whitewash two minutes later following a break and offload from Konkel. (5-42, 67mins)
South Africa dug deep and found energy as they started to impose themselves on the game towards the end with some quick breaks and strong drives. But yet again Scotland held them on the line and forced a change of possession. A good kick from Thomson helped Scotland gain the yards and within a minute they were back in the hosts 22.
Into the final ten minutes of the match and it was a fantastic moment for forward Christine Belisle as she came on to win her first cap for Scotland.
With the match drawing to a close, Scotland finished how they started. With the final play of the game Abi Evans went over, to secure a historic first victory for Head Coach Doyle in his first match in charge. (5-47, 80mins)
Talking on the victory, Head Coach Philip Doyle said: “I'm absolutely thrilled for the team, absolutely delighted for them, especially for the performance that they put in. I always said that there was a core group of girls there and I am thrilled that they were able to deliver on the game plan. Everyone delivered but it is the nature of the delivery that impressed me the most.”
Full-time: South Africa 5 Scotland 47
South Africa: Yonela Ngxingolo (Border) Lindelwa Gwala (KZN), Babalwa Latsha (captain – Western Province), Celeste Adonis (Boland), Karthy Dludla (KZN), Phelisa Mrwebi (Eastern Province), Nompumelelo Mathe (KZN), Aseza Hele (Eastern Province), Tayla Kinsey (KZN), Anacadia Minnaar (Eastern Province), Piwokuhle Nyanda (Golden Lions), Aphiwe Ngwevu (Border), Chumisa Qawe (Border), Nomawethu Mabenge (Eastern Province), Vuyolwethu Maqholo (Western Province)
Subs: Annique Geswind (Western Province), Noxolo Mankayi (Eastern Province), Onaka Jita (Boland), Prelene Pegram (SWD), Edwaline Dickson (SWD), Unam Tose (Border), Sesethu Mtshazi (Western Province), Chuma Qawe (Border).
Scotland: Lisa Cockburn (Darlington Mowden Park); Lana Skeldon (Darlington Mowden Park); Mairi Forsyth (Corstorphine Cougars), Emma Wassell (Corstorphine Cougars), Louise McMillan (Hillhead Jordanhill), Rachel Malcolm (Loughborough Lightning), Rachel McLachlan (Darlington Mowden Park), Jade Konkel (Harlequins), Mhairi Grieve (Firwood Waterloo), Sarah Law (Darlington Mowden Park), Rhona Lloyd (Loughborough Lightning), Lisa Thomson (Darlington Mowden Park), Hannah Smith (Watsonians), Megan Gaffney (Watsonians) , Chloe Rollie (Harlequins)
Subs: Jodie Rettie (Saracens) for Skeldon (66 mins), Panashe Muzambe (Edinburgh University/Watsonians) for Cockburn (71mins), Megan Kennedy (Stirling County) for Forsyth (53mins), Christine Belisle (Cartha Queens Park) for McLachlan (71mins), Siobhan Cattigan (Stirling County) for Wassell (63mins), Jenny Maxwell (Loughborough Lightning) for Grieve (53mins), Abi Evans (Darlington Mowden Park) on for Gaffney (59mins), Sergeant (Heriots Blues Women) on for Smith (67mins).
Referee: Emilia Luciano (USA)