U18 Women’s Six Nations 2024 | Day 3 Review

U18 Women’s Six Nations 2024 | Day 3 Review

In bright but windy conditions, Scotland showed great heart and determination in their final match of the U18 Six Nations Festival 2024 against Ireland.

Scotland spent the vast majority of the first half defending their try line, but they defended it mightily with both Hollie Howland and captain Imogen Spence showing their incredible strength to hold up two tries in the first 15 minutes of the match.

Ireland’s pursuit of the whitewash was relentless, but so was the Scottish defence. Scarlet Downs made her presence known on several occasions, including when she made a crucial intercept in the Irish attack as they encroached the red zone.

However, it was only time before Ireland managed to find some points, with Scotland stretched, their full-back found space to score a try in the 16th minute. The conversion was unsuccessful.

Ireland added a second try in minute 22 and converted successfully.

Scotland continued for the remainder of the half to find themselves largely without ball in hand. Winger Emily Norval did well on several occasions to disrupt the Ireland attack and take on her opposite player, showing her space and strength.

Things looked like they were set to change in the final five minutes of the half when, Poppy Mellanby secured a vital turnover inside Scotland’s 22. Rianna Darroch sent a fantastic kick into Irish territory for a line out, which was successfully retained by the towering Sophie Price. Centre Lisa Brown managed to carve her way through the wall of green jerseys but after being felled in the tackle, Ireland won a penalty and the forwards packed down for a scrum.

Ireland looked to strike from the scrum, but Howland worked well to tear down their winger with a technically brilliant low tackle with Darroch securing the turnover.

Unfortunately, with the wind playing havoc, Darroch’s kick didn’t find touch so Ireland retained the ball and began to attack. Scotland’s defence was stretched and their winger cut around the right hand side to score their third try. The conversion was good and the half-time whistle was blown.

Half-time: Scotland 0 – 17 Ireland

As the teams ran out to start the second half, conditions in Wales worsened with the rain beginning to thunder down. Whilst the pitch was dampened, Scotland’s spirts were not and they continued to show great determination in their efforts.

Scotland’s worked tirelessly not to give an inch, with Spence and Ella Williams working solidly together to hold Ireland back, but with tired bodies on the line, after several phases Ireland powered over. The conversion was missed.

Scotland’s defence was frayed, and Ireland’s winger found the space to score in Ireland’s fifth try, despite rapid efforts from Norval to bring her down before the line. The conversion was unsuccessful.

Ireland added another try in minute 51, with the replacement stand-off for Ireland deceiving the defence to run in a score. The conversion was successful.

Scotland were not going to give up, and there was a strong feeling a well-deserved score was coming. With Tamzin Rosie coming on to replace Howland at scrum-half after her epic shift, the youngster from Wick was eager to make her mark.

In the 54th minute, Scotland finally gaining possession of the ball, Rosie, Darroch and Smyth began to pull the strings and take their attacking phase to within 10 metres of the Irish try line. With the referee playing advantage to Scotland for high tackle, play was taken back to the right wing.

Rosie took a quick tap and go, earning vital yardage. Another penalty came for Scotland and this time Rosie opted to go herself but was just short of the mark. But quick work from Downs, who was un support saw her be the one to finally get across the line for the women in blue. Hannah Smyth’s ice-cool kicking earned Scotland another two points.

Ireland struck back in minute 62 with another try. The conversion was unsuccessful.

After tireless work to score a second try, Scotland were denied a chance in minute 66 with Ireland turning them over just meters short of the line.

Ireland scored a final try in the dying minutes of the game. A successful conversion to followed to conclude the game.

Full-time: Scotland 7 – 48 Ireland

Scotland U18: Talei Tawake; Ella Rae; Ella Williams; Gemma Thomson; Emily Coubrough; Imogen Spence ; Sophie Price; Scarlet Downs; Hollie Howland; Rianna Darroch ; Emily Love; Poppy Mellanby; Lisa Brown; Emily Norval; Hannah Smyth

Replacements: Isla Pomroy; Ellie Moffet; Megan Riach; Louise Taperell; Daisy Morrison; Aisla Merryweather; Holly Wilson; Faye Sutherland; Tamzin Rosie; Niamh MacGregor; Georgie Baxter; Mia Ryrie; Josie Foubister

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