Scotland face 'cup final' against Ireland to qualify for Women's Rugby World Cup

The Scotland rugby squad has more left in the tank after their crucial Women’s World Cup qualifying win over Spain and can perform even better in the “cup final” match against Ireland on Saturday, according to assistant coach Ross Miller.

Assistant head coach Ross Miller during a Scotland Women's rugby training session (Photo by Ross Parker / SNS Group)

When the Scots lost to Italy on September 13, next year’s showpiece event in New Zealand seemed a million miles away, but Sunday’s thrilling 27-22 bonus point victory against Spain put Bryan Easson’s charges right back in the mix.

Going into the last round of matches in Parma in Italy on Saturday - the hosts versus Spain at 2pm UK time and Scotland versus Ireland at 5pm UK time - all four countries are tied on five points and any of them could finish top and secure a passage to New Zealand by that evening.

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The team that finishes second will go into a repechage event for a place at the World Cup while for third and fourth it will be the dream over.

“There is more to come from this group of players for sure, we look for improvements every time we play and we are getting those improvements ahead of what is a cup final for us,” Miller said.

“There was a massive momentum shift in the first half of the Spain game that gave us confidence going into the second half and that is what we have been wanting as a group.

“We are super proud of the players and the way they dealt with the last 10 minutes against Spain. The defensive effort was immense and that is something we improved on from the Italy game.

“There are things we aren’t totally happy about and we will keep working on them ahead of Ireland.

“Anything can happen over the final weekend and we will prepare properly leaving no stone unturned, we will do everything we can to be ready.”

Miller reported that there are a few “bumps and bruises” after the Spain game, but that the full extended squad is available for selection to face Ireland, including second-row Sarah Bonar who missed out last time due to work commitments.

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