Shade Munro’s Scotland gave their all in a Scotstoun cracker against Canada but were edged out 28-25 in a breathless encounter.
A confident Canada grabbed the first try and Tausani Levale got a second soon after but Scotland rallied as Abi Evans finished off a superb move in the corner.
Returning No.8 Jade Konkel sent the home side in with a lead but then Canada’s Tyson Beukeboom touched down before Lisa Thomson replied.
Janna Slevinsky got Canada’s fourth and Emma Wassell did the same for her side, and despite dominating the final period the crucial winning score for Scotland just wouldn’t come.
The match started at frantic pace and saw Scotland go 3-0 up as Helen Nelson split the posts from 30 metres out.
Canada though, coming off the back of the 38-21 win over Wales at the weekend, attacked in reply and got their first try on five minutes as they powered over from short distance.
The home side defended resolutely but were breached again on 21 minutes as Canada passed the ball out to the left and Levale cut back inside to create a 14-3 lead.
Chloe Rollie’s break offered hope and minutes later swift hands in the opposition 22 saw the ball go through both centres to the waiting Evans – unstoppable in the corner from five metres out.
Munro’s side took a 15-14 lead into the break when player-of-the-match Megan Kennedy rampaged through the Canadian defence off the back of a lineout – Konkel picking and going over the line from the next phase.
The visitors re-took the lead after the break with powerful forward play from Beukeboom, but Scotland came once more as a series of drives at the line created opportunity for Thomson’s quick thinking to dot the ball down.
Canada extended their lead to 28-20 minutes later through Slevinsky’s score but just as the crowds tried to take a breath the hosts went straight down the other end, lock Wassell sniping over to cut the lead to 28-25.
The Scots threw the kitchen sink at their opposition, Thomson searing through midfield and a spell of drives at the line not quite getting over, but they finish their autumn with a spectacular performance ahead of their 2019 Women’s Six Nations opener against Italy.
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WHAT THEY SAID
Scotland prop Kennedy: “It feels absolutely amazing. I’ve never played Canada before and I knew it was going to be a physical match but we’ve been training at Test standard and we really got that today.
“The score didn’t go our way and it’s gutting to be so close but I think we’ve just made a statement for ourselves before the Six Nations.”
PLAYER WATCH – JADE KONKEL
Returning No.8 Konkel has long been an integral part of Munro’s side, missing just one of her country’s last 15 Women’s Six Nations matches and grabbing two tries in this year’s Championship.
Since then though she’s been out with injury and was a welcome return at Scotstoun, driving over from seven metres out for Scotland’s second try in a display of power.
The 24-year-old was highly-effective on the night, distracting the Canada defence with dummy runs and offering go-forward at every opportunity – a powerful late drive almost making the crucial winning breakthrough.
A dominant Canada scrum on 48 minutes showed exactly Konkel’s effect, Scotland going backwards but the No.8 attacking off the base to turn the momentum.
Scotland were well-beaten by Italy a few weeks ago, while Canada came into this match in good form and when the visitors went 14-3 up the home fans may have feared the worst.
But Evans’ try on the half-hour turned the tide and came in excellent fashion, Lisa Martin onto Nelson and Thomson expertly drawing her defender before passing on to the powerful wing for the score.