Match Report


Ireland Scotland W6N celes
Ireland fought back to earn a thrilling 15-12 victory over Scotland and sew up third place in the Guinness Women’s Six Nations 2024.

The hosts also confirmed their place at the 2025 Rugby World Cup and in WXV1 and complete a remarkable turnaround since last year’s Championship. 

Elis Martin opened the scoring before Katie Corrigan responded after the break with Scotland unable to build a gap. 

Lisa Thomson’s try was cancelled out by Cliodhna Moloney before a Dannah O’Brien penalty moved Ireland ahead for the first time and, crucially, to take the win. 

Scotland weather the early storm 

Hailstorms before the match and driving rain to begin the game in Belfast were not a sign of the firecracker of a contest to come. 

The visitors drew first blood eight minutes in as Scotland made their way patiently into Ireland’s half before a well-taken lineout from Rachel Malcolm found its way to Martin at the back of the rolling maul. 

The hooker, who had been a replacement for Lana Skeldon in the starting XV, dotted down before the ball fell off the tee, disturbing Helen Nelson who sent the conversion attempt wide. 

An injury to Caity Mattinson saw a lengthy stoppage with the scrum-half eventually replaced by Mairi McDonald. 

The match took time to spark back into life, with Ireland having more of the positive possession, benefitting from a knock-on by Molly Smith as the players struggled to deal with the wet ball. 

Ireland fight fire with fire 

Ireland’s first real attack was ended as Lisa Thomson produced an intercept as the ball bounced between two Ireland players. 

Linda Djougang began to shine for Ireland as she delivered a strong carry before Neve Jones got Ireland across the whitewash but was held up as the hosts were denied their first try of the afternoon. 

With seconds of the half remaining, Ireland turned down the chance of points at the posts and instead kicked for the corner, but their wayward lineout saw Scotland take a narrow advantage into the break. 

The sun was shining on Ireland as the game restarted and they responded emphatically with young star Corrigan racing over in the corner to bring her side level. 

Parity last less than 10 minutes before Thomson earned the try her performance in Scotland’s attack deserved. 

Bryan Easson’s side were again patient in the build-up before Thompson produced a wonderful line-break to score. 

Ireland make it count 

Ireland responded strongly to going behind and the game was soon back level as Moloney did what she does best. 

The replacement hooker threw a pin-point lineout before receiving the ball at the back of the maul and scoring before O’Brien nailed the conversion to equal the scores. 

Beibhinn Parsons then emphasised how dangerous she can be with ball in hand, dancing her way from one 22 to the other but Ireland struggled to take the numerous chances they were creating. 

That meant that when Scotland were penalised for not rolling away Ireland chose the posts not the corner with O’Brien cooly slotting the penalty to put her side ahead with six minutes left. 

Scotland did not take the same approach seconds later as they looked to do what they had done all game, patiently working through the phases and taking their limited chances well. 

Except at the most pivotal part of the game, errors crept in and Ireland were able to hold on to put last year’s last place well and truly behind them and return to the World Cup for the first time since 2017.