Captain Rachel Malcolm calls on Scotland to embrace World Cup challenge against New Zealand

New Zealand have scored a combined 97 points in their two Rugby World Cup games to date but Scotland captain Rachel Malcolm wants her charges to embrace the challenge that is coming their way next weekend.

Scotland's Emma Wassell and Hannah Smith console each other after the 14-12 loss to New Zealand.
Scotland's Emma Wassell and Hannah Smith console each other after the 14-12 loss to New Zealand.

The back-row insisted yesterday that the Scots “can’t wait” to play the formidable hosts.

For the second weekend in a row the Scots were agonisingly edged out on Saturday, Australia beating them 14-12 to go with an 18-15 loss to Wales from six days before.

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That has left the Scots bottom of Pool A and with very little chance of making the knockout stage, especially as they have the second in the world Black Ferns to play this coming Saturday.

New Zealand scored 41 points versus Australia in week one and then bagged 10 tries in a 56-12 triumph over Wales on Sunday.

It means they are already assured of a last eight place before they meet Scotland in Whangarei next.

Some may be daunted by such a task, but Malcolm said: “Do you know what? We can’t wait for this game.

“What better place to play the Black Ferns than in New Zealand? This country has been incredible in terms of how they have treated us since we got here.

“It has been an incredible experience on and off the pitch and we have soaked up every second of that – and we will soak up every second of playing against New Zealand.

“We are determined to come back out [on Saturday], take another step forward and put in the best possible performance that we can for our country.”

If 10th in the world Scotland are to be at all competitive, their improving driving maul will need to be used once again.

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“Our driving maul has been a massive weapon for us over the last couple of years and I think in this tournament we have taken a step forward in terms of using it because it wasn’t good enough in the Six Nations,” Malcolm adds.

“We know how important a good driving maul is.”