Philip Doyle on his side’s win against Spain

Philip Doyle on his side’s win against Spain

​Scotland Women celebrated a 12-36 victory over Spain in Almeria on Sunday. It was a first win in the fixture since 2011 and recent encounters have always been very close affairs.

This was head Coach Philip Doyle’s first time facing Spain while coaching the Scottish team. We spoke to him at full-time to hear his thoughts on the match and how the four new capped players performed.

“I am elated. I am so, so happy with the team and the way they performed.”
Philip Doyle

“They had to dig themselves out of some holes at certain stages in that match, but there are so many positives to take out of it. Like two scrums that we turned Spain over – That hasn’t happened in a long time.

“Credit to the pack and to the scrum coaches that we have had coming in and helping us on a regular basis. That has really been paying dividends.

“The set piece was a bit iffy at the start, but it bode well for us in the end which was great.

“The backs had a field day! Hannah Smith out in the centre was a such serious threat in the game and Spain couldn’t live with her to be honest.

Hannah Smith scoring Scotland’s first try of the match

​“There is just so much positivity to take out of it, such as two first cappers scoring their first tries.”
Philip Doyle

“You couldn’t fault the four new caps today. Leah Bartlett: first cap, first start. It’s obvious that she is one for the future and let’s hope she keeps up the hard work that she is putting in.

“Molly Wright as hooker. She was very impressive; she nailed some six balls right out there on the 15 line. She showed confidence even though she was so nervous coming into this game at times. She has a great head on her shoulders and hopefully a super career ahead of her in the Scottish jersey.

“Young Mairi McDonald coming in as scrum half. What a big step up for her. The amount of work that Tyrone Holmes has done with her in the Glasgow Academy. Mairi has really come on and its through him that things have really worked well.

“And then Alex Wallace. She could have got capped against Japan but picked up an injury the day before bit it is great to see her getting on so they have all done so well for us and have put in the hard work so let’s just hope they can grow as an international player”.

“The lead up to the Six Nations is thick and fast. We are back in at the weekend for another camp. I won’t go too hard in them but it’s just about cementing things down.

“Bryan Easson is obviously doing a fantastic job on the attack of this team. Hats off to the man. We are working so well together from a forwards and backs point of view and he is really getting them thinking.

“From a defensive point of view, I will be cementing down our policies and a little bit of physicality that may be needed to just sharpen it up. It’s just basics, basics, basics. We don’t need to over complicate things, we just need to do the simple things well. I know it is a cliché bit for us, that is paramount.”

Following their away match against Ireland on Sunday 2 February, Scotland return to Scotstoun to play England on Sunday 9 February and then France on Saturday 7 March. Match tickets are on sale now for Scotland’s Six Nations matches, secure your tickets now.

Photo credits: Walter Degirolmo/FER

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