Scotland will head into the Women’s Six Nations on a high after kicking off 2020 with a 36-12 victory over Spain in Almeria.
Hannah Smith grabbed a first-half double, Leah Bartlett and Molly Wright marked their debuts with tries and Megan Gaffney and Rhona Lloyd also scored on a fine day for Philip Doyle’s side.
It took Scotland just one minute to open the scoring with Smith crossing after a stunning move that started from inside their own half.
Gaffney used all her strength to wrestle her way over in the corner on eight minutes but Spain came back with two tries to level things up at 12-12.
With two minutes to go before the interval, Smith went over again after a sensational break, giving Scotland a 19-12 lead.
The visitors then kicked on in the second period as Bartlett gobbled up a loose ball after a clearance kick was charged down to dot down under the posts.
A well-timed pass from Rachel McLachlan gave Lloyd a try before a driving maul resulted in replacement Wright going over on her debut.
— BBC ALBA (@bbcalba) January 19, 2020
IRELAND EDGE OUT WALES
The Scots will open their campaign away in Ireland, the team that Doyle previously coached to Grand Slam glory.
And current Ireland boss Adam Griggs will have been pleased to see his team come away with a 22-12 win over Wales to cap off a training camp aimed at fine-tuning their preparations.
Despite the defeat in Cardiff, Wales coach Chris Horsman felt it was a useful learning exercise for his side ahead of the upcoming Women’s Six Nations.
.@joyce_jaz – It’s awesome to be back
— Welsh Rugby Union 🏉 (@WelshRugbyUnion) January 19, 2020
“We were pleased in parts, particularly defensive,” said Horsman, whose side’s tries came from Alisha Butchers and Kerin Lake.
“Overall it was a positive experience as we now have two weeks to improve in some key areas including ball retention.
“We are very much developing as a group but we have key targets we want to achieve in all of our Six Nations games.
“Hopefully that will translate into wins along the way but first and foremost we want to raise our game across the board.”