Match Report

Scotland end on a high with victory over Wales

Sco-Wal 2000
Scotland wrapped up fifth place in the 2021 Women’s Six Nations with a bonus-point 27-20 victory over Wales as the Championship came to an entertaining conclusion at Scotstoun.

Scotland wrapped up fifth place in the 2021 Women’s Six Nations with a bonus-point 27-20 victory over Wales as the Championship came to an entertaining conclusion at Scotstoun.

Megan Gaffney’s early try set the tone before Wales nudged in front through a pair of Robyn Wilkins penalties.

Props Megan Kennedy and Christine Belisle powered over to give Scotland a 17-6 half-time lead and though Lisa Neumann reduced the arrears early in the second half, Evie Gallagher’s try restored the hosts’ advantage.

Player of the Match Helen Nelson slotted a 70th-minute penalty to settle the outcome though a battling Wales had the final word when Caitlin Lewis crossed in the corner.

It came too late to prevent Scotland earning just a second win over Wales in 14 Championship attempts, a result which consigned the visitors to this year’s wooden spoon.


Both sides were looking for strong starts following defeats in their opening two matches and it was the hosts who began on top, breaking the deadlock inside five minutes.

Nelson kicked a penalty to the corner and a neat training ground move followed, with Scotland making full use of the width on offer and moving the ball swiftly through the hands for Gaffney to dot down in the corner.

The conversion was unsuccessful and Wales spurned an opportunity to respond when Wilkins’ 16th-minute penalty slid wide.

The Welsh fly-half made no mistake five minutes later, however, as the visitors were rewarded for a sustained spell of pressure in and around the Scotland 22 with their first points of this year’s Championship.

Wilkins repeated the feat from the tee shortly afterwards to put Wales in front after fine work at the breakdown by Georgia Evans but the lead was to last only a matter of minutes as the hosts hit back.


Warren Abrahams’ side did not help themselves by spilling the restart following Wilkins’ second successful kick and Scotland opted to kick to the corner upon winning a penalty themselves at the resultant scrum.

Quick thinking by Nelson saw the fly-half send a cross-field kick in the direction of Gaffney, who took her side within five metres, and Kennedy followed up to crash over from close range.

Nelson’s conversion made it 12-6 and Wales missed a chance to immediately eat into the deficit when a lineout, an area which proved an Achilles heel for the visitors throughout the opening 40 minutes, was lost inside the Scotland 22.

With five first-half minutes remaining, the hosts gave themselves a cushion when Belisle became the second Scottish prop to add her name to the scoresheet.

Playing at loosehead for the first time, Belisle found a gap amid a mass of bodies on the Welsh line to force the ball down and put Scotland 17-6 up at the break.


Whatever Abrahams said to his players at half-time appeared to have an instant impact as Wales wasted no time in cutting the deficit.

The second period was less than two minutes old when Lisa Neumann broke through a tackle down the right flank and crossed for a try superbly converted by Wilkins to reduce the gap to four points.

Scotland adjusted to the setback and after a scrappy spell, which included both fly-halves sending stray kicks out on the full, the power of the home pack earned the pivotal bonus-point score.

This time it was Evie Gallagher who profited, the flanker finding herself at the bottom of the pile after another dominant maul from the home side.

Nelson’s conversion restored Scotland’s 11-point lead and they came close to adding to it when the forwards started motoring again on 65 minutes but this time Wales held firm.

Liz Musgrove was next to threaten when a cross-field kick by Nelson sat up perfectly for the winger, who was denied by a superb last-ditch Jasmine Joyce tackle – among a string of impressive defensive interventions on a busy afternoon for the Welsh full-back.

Nelson added a routine penalty to her tally to put Scotland further clear with 10 minutes to play but Wales refused to lie down and earned their reward with the clock in the red when Lewis finished a well-worked move.

Wilkins nailed another conversion from the touchline to bring the final score to 27-20, a fair reflection of a largely evenly-matched contest.


Scotland captain Helen Nelson led by example in Glasgow, driving her side forward at every opportunity and showing composure throughout.

Her quick thinking helped set up Kennedy’s try and Nelson also kicked well from the tee, with a penalty and two conversions.