Scotland Women U18 7s - Report and Reaction

Scotland Women U18 7s - Report and Reaction

Scotland Women U18 7s finished in 6th place in their debut Rugby Europe U18 7’s Championship at the weekend.

Graeme Blackhall’s squad had a strong start in Poland as they defeated Latvia 48-5 in their opening match, with debutant Shona Campbell making an impact with an impressive hat trick.

In the second match, Scotland scored 53 unanswered points against Georgia with tries coming from an impressive eight players making it a true team effort. Meryl Smith’s boot kicked three successful conversions with Evie Wills supporting with a further two. In the final pool match of the day, Scotland scored four tries against Ireland on their way to topping the group.

Day Two saw Scotland narrowly edged out by Wales in their Cup quarter-final. Despite tries from Cieron Bell, Eva Donaldson and Meryl Smith it was sadly not enough for Blackhall’s team as they were defeated 19-22.

In the 5th-8th place rankings, a Scottish victory over Spain (19-0) saw the team set up a rematch against Ireland in their final game of the Championship. Unfortunately, they couldn’t replicate the score from the first day and had to settle for 6th place after losing 7-21.

Blackhall said, “It’s been a great experience for the players. We have been building toward this tournament for a number of weeks and it showed on Day One. The players went out with energy and commitment and the scores in all three games showed how accurate we were in applying the key principles we have been working so hard on. There were a couple of key moments against Wales where we lost momentum and it cost us, however despite being under pressure we kept at it.

“I am really proud of the mental strength shown on Day Two. We have displayed a real togetherness as a squad this weekend and I’m in no doubt that was what got us a result against Spain. I can’t fault the players for their efforts in the final game, we put in a shift but with fatigue and two players out due to injury we couldn’t quite replicate our result against them on Day One.

“This group have been a real pleasure to work with, there is no doubting their talent. I would like to wish them all the best going into their XV’s season. I’m sure this is only the beginning of what will be a great rugby career for them all.

Captain, Katie McLaren commented on the weekend saying, “It has been a great weekend to showcase our skills as a squad against great opponent and in a testing climate.

“Day One kicked off with games against Latvia and Georgia, where we only conceded one try and we looked really sharp. We showed great commitment and executed well in attack. We were pleased to end the day with a win in a pretty intense game against an Ireland who we have faced a lot over the past two weeks.

“The game against Wales didn’t go to plan. We showed the passion and drive to win but unfortunately a few key moments didn’t go in our favour. I’m proud of the way we got over that and responded in the next two games.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed leading this group. We have grown in confidence over the season and learnt a lot of lessons on how to manage the highs and lows of playing international sevens. I hope I get the opportunity to play with these girls again in the future.”

Results

Scotland 48 - 5 Latvia
Tries: Campbell (3), McLaren (1), Bell (2), Donaldson (1) and Meryl Smith (1)
Conversions: Smith (4)

Scotland 53 - 0 Georgia
Tries: Wills (1), Campbell (1), Bell (2), Kimm (1), Philips (1), Fraser (1), Bruce (1) Smith (1)
Conversions: Wills (2), Smith (3)

Scotland 24 - 12 Ireland
Tries: McIntyre (1), Wills (1), Philips (1), Smith (1)
Conversions: Smith (2)

Scotland 19 - 22 Wales
Tries: Bell (1), Donaldson (1), Smith (1)
Conversions: Smith (2)

Scotland 19 - 0 Spain
Tries: Bell (1), Bruce (1), Smith (1)
Conversions: Smith (2)

Scotland 7 - 21 Ireland
Tries: Smith (1)
Conversions: Smith (1)

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