Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Women’s Six Nations 2024: Scotland edge out Wales for dramatic win as France ease past Ireland

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Scotland held on to claim a 20-18 victory over Wales in a nail-biting Women’s Six Nations encounter at Cardiff Arms Park.

In a dramatic finish to this opening-round encounter, Lleucu George had the chance to draw Wales level but she unable to convert Alex Callender’s last-gasp try as Scotland held on for their first away win over the Welsh since 2004.

It also saw Scotland Women record seven successive victories for the first time in their history.

Image:
Keira Bevan struck first for Wales

Wales drew first blood in the fifth minute as Keira Bevan slotted over a penalty.

However, Scotland responded immediately by scoring the first try of the game through Coreen Grant and they would go on to dominate the rest of the first half.

The Scots, seeking to avenge last year’s home defeat to Wales, stormed ahead when Grant’s speed allowed her to touch down in the corner, with Helen Nelson adding the extras.

Nelson extended Scotland’s lead with a penalty but Wales cut the deficit to 10-6 at the break after Sisilia Tuipulotu’s big carry helped earn the hosts a penalty of their own, Bevan adding the three points despite almost running the shot clock down.

Scotland scored their second converted try of the match nine minutes into the second half after winning a turnover, Emma Orr helping to release Rhona Lloyd who raced clear to dot down.

That threatened to end Wales’ hopes but they started to click and scored a try when Tuipulotu barged over from close range.

Nelson drilled over another penalty to edge Scotland back into a seven-point lead but they were made to play the final minutes with 14 players after Alex Stewart was sent to the sin bin as the penalties started to build up.

Wales took advantage by scoring a try that reduced Scotland’s lead to two points, Callender bundled her way through the visiting defence in the 78th minute, but George missed the resulting conversion as the hosts fell just short.

Wales' Carys Cox hands off Scotland's Rhona Lloyd
Image:
Wales’ Carys Cox hands off Scotland’s Rhona Lloyd

France ease to victory over Ireland

France earned the first win of the Six Nations campaign with an entertaining 38-17 victory over Ireland at Stade Marie-Marvingt.

Last year’s runners-up were able to pull ahead with three comfortable tries before Ireland fought back to go over twice in the final 10 minutes.

Pauline Bourdon Sansus secured France the lead just three minutes into the game, breaking free from the scrum to cross just next to the post.

Although France threatened throughout the half, the Irish defence put in a brilliant display to fend off waves of attacks, but the hosts eventually found their second try in the 32nd minute.

Bourdon Sansus dispatched a great pass to Marine Menager and she burst through a gap in the defence to touch down.

They earned a third try seven minutes into the second half from Madoussou Fall.

France secured a bonus point in the 62nd minute with a brilliant rolling maul that let Agathe Sochat cross.

Ireland got their first try of the afternoon in the 71st minute after Aoife Wafer powered over the line from close range only for France to add their fifth four minutes later as Elisa Riffoneau broke away from a maul to score.

An awkward bounce saw Lina Tuy mishandle the ball on the try-line and Aoife Dalton reacted quickly to ground the ball for Ireland’s second try.

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