Scottish Futures round-up: Italy trip
The Scottish Futures squad have completed a week-long training camp in Italy, finishing the trip with two 40-minute matches against Ireland and Italy at Stadio Tommaso Fattori in L’Aquila.
The 26-player squad took part in combined training sessions with the two nations in the lead up to the matches, in a unique development opportunity for players and management.
There were plenty of positives for the side to take following a 21-12 victory against Ireland U20s and a narrow 10-7 defeat to the hosts, Italy U20.
Summarising the week in Italy, Scottish Futures Head Coach Claire Cruikshank said: “The week has been a great experience for both the players and management and it was brilliant to have combined training sessions and hit-outs with Italy and Ireland.
“We brought the learnings and developments from the sessions into today’s matches and I thought the players put in a solid performance throughout the evening.
“We’re delighted with the hard-work and effort shown from the players and management and it was brilliant to get a good result against Ireland. We were obviously disappointed to narrowly lose against Italy but overall it has been an invaluable experience for this group.”
First up for Scottish Futures was Ireland U20, with the Scots coming out firing in the opening exchanges and attacking with intent.
The Futures had to remain patient, however, and the side were finally rewarded on the 12th minute when Izzy Hannay powered over the whitewash, with Lucy MacRae adding the extras.
Ireland U20 were able to retaliate before the interval, with their Kate Flannery running into the corner following a well-taken line-out, but the side were unable to level the scores after a missed conversion.
Ireland kept the pressure on Scotland and were shortly back on the scoreboard as Katie Whelan made a blistering break before offloading to Ruth Campbell who scored under the posts, with Flannery adding the extras to give the side a five-point lead.
The Scots were able to retake the lead as Alex Stewart dotted down on the line, with Ceitidh Ainsworth slotting the conversion through with ease.
Moments before full-time, Scottish Futures were able to extend their lead as Sarah Denholm crashed under the posts to score, with a successful conversion capping it off.
Despite a last gasp Irish attack, the Scottish defence held firm to record a 21-12 victory.
FULL-TIME: Scottish Futures 21-12 Ireland U20
The final match of the day saw Scottish Futures take on hosts, Italy U20, where the Italians got proceedings quickly underway with a converted try on the fifth minute.
Sensing another opportunity, the Italians were soon back on the attack and were able to capitalise with another score to give them a 10-0 lead at the break.
Scottish Futures enjoyed a brighter start to the second-half, with Rachel Philipps racing over the line to score, with Lucy MacRae’s conversion bringing the side to just three points short of the Italians.
Despite some probing attacking play from the Scots in the closing stages of the match, the Italians were able to hold on to the narrow lead as the final whistle blew.
FULL-TIME: Italy U20 10-7 Scottish Futures
Scottish Futures squad for Italy trip 2023
Aila Ronald (University of Edinburgh)
Alex Stewart (University of Edinburgh)
Angharad Hopwood (Stirling County)
Eve Thomson (Hillhead Jordahill)
Hannah McMahon (University of Edinburgh)
Holland Bogan (Stirling County)
Isabella Hannay (Durham University)
Katie Lindsay (Corstorphine Cougars)
Kirsty Ritchie (Biggar)
Megan Hyland (Garioch)
Molly Poolman (Watsonians)
Natasha Logan (University of Edinburgh)
Nikki Simpson (Garioch)
Poppy Fletcher (Heriot’s Rugby)
Ceitidh Ainsworth (Stirling County)
Cieron Bell (University of Edinburgh)
Hannah Walker (University of Edinburgh)
Holly McIntyre (University of Edinburgh)
Lucy MacRae (Stirling County)
Mary Nelson (Watsonians)
Nicole Flynn (Stirling County)
Rachel Philipps (University of Edinburgh)
Rhea Clarke (University of Edinburgh)
Roma Fraser (Hillhead Jordanhill)
Sarah Denholm (University of Edinburgh)
Sky Phimister (Stirling County)