Scotland Women shine in South Africa with latest win over USA

Scotland’s women have now won five Test matches in a row for the first time since 2001 and captain Rachel Malcolm is “proud” of the way they dug in against the USA in WXV 2 on Friday.

The 24-14 bonus point win in Cape Town also means that the Scots are still in with a shout of winning the inaugural WXV 2 tournament title come next weekend when they face Japan.

“It was a physical battle and the USA really took it to us, but I am proud of the girls for the way we battled,” back-row Malcolm said. “To be the team that has helped Scotland win five games in a row for the first time in 22 years makes us all proud and we will keep building from here, there is more to come from us.”

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With their first attack in the Athlone Sports Stadium in the 11th minute Scotland scored the opening try. Centre Emma Orr’s good break set up winger Francesca McGhie who finished well for an unconverted effort. In the 16th minute, after a number of forward drives, second-row Emma Wassell went over for Scotland’s second try from short range. Stand-off Helen Nelson converted and it was 12-0.

It got better for Scotland in the 19th minute when back-row Rachel McLachlan’s pass set up Rhona Lloyd and the winger did the rest to score try number three. It was unconverted and it was 17-0. Scotland scrum-half Mairi McDonald was well held up by her opposite number Carly Waters over the try line six minutes later.

Freda Tafuna, the USA back-row thought she had scored a try after 33 minutes following a kick charge down by second-row Hallie Taufoou, but referee Clara Munarini spotted a knock on after conferring with the TMO. That opportunity had given USA some confidence and they were carrying and tipping on well before earning a penalty near the Scotland try line. From the resultant lineout they managed to set things up for tighthead prop Charli Jacoby to go over. Stand-off Gabriella Cantorna converted and it was 17-7 at half-time.

USA started where they left off in the second half, fresh face Keia Mae Sagapolu from the bench carrying well, but after 50 minutes the score was still the same. Captain Kate Zackary and right-wing Tess Feury both had glimpse of space out wide for USA before the hour mark while Scotland put some phases together before a knock on and it was a 10-point game heading into the last 20 minutes.

Just after the hour mark Scotland scored a crucial fourth bonus point try. It came through full-back Chloe Rollie and replacement Meryl Smith converted to make it 24-7. Feury so nearly scored a try for USA straight afterwards and then substitute Paige Stathopoulos did go over. Feury converted and it was 24-14. Rollie so nearly got her second try with eight minutes to play, but a last gasp tackle from USA replacement Taina Tukuafu kept her out.

The Scots’ No.8 Evie Gallagher was named the player of the match and these are exciting times for women’s rugby in this country.



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