Women’s U18 Six Nations Festival 2024 | Day 1 Round-up

Women’s U18 Six Nations Festival 2024 | Day 1 Round-up

Catch up on the action from Day 1 of the U18 Six Nations Festival for Scotland Women.

The 2024 Festival takes place at Stadiwm CSM in Colwyn Bay, Wales, starting on Friday 29 March and running until Saturday 6 April.

Scotland will play 35-minute matches against Wales, France, England and Italy before finishing with a 70-minute match against Ireland on Saturday 6 April.

After naming his squad earlier this month, head coach Duncan Harrison said: “The U18 Six Nations offers each squad member a valuable chance to engage in competitive play, fostering growth and skill development.

“Reflecting on last year’s festival, we gained invaluable insights, positioning us even stronger this time. Our aim is to play proactively and positively, with hopes for favourable outcomes which aren’t just based on the scoreline.”

France v Scotland: KO 3.30pm

Scotland showed a lot of heart and determination against a physical and fast French side in their first game of the Six Nations Festival.

Early pressure from France saw three tries scored within the first half of the game. Scotland began to find their feet and had glimpses of strong attacking phases, with Emily Love showcasing her pace on the wing but the defensive efforts from France soon shut down the attacking opportunities.

Scotland continued to front up defensively in the final 15 minutes of play. Poppy Mellanby, Niamh MacGregor and Emily Norval were some of Scotland’s standout players in hitting the rucks and slowing down the opposition.

After some sustained attacking pressure, in the final five minutes, Scotland found themselves on a good platform inside the French-half, but a lineout deemed not straight ended their chance for points.

Scotland’s Emily Coubrough denied France a seventh try with a fantastic cover tackle, taking her opposition into touch as the clock went red.

Full-time: France 34 – 0 Scotland

Head coach Duncan Harrison said: “Preparation has been excellent and the energy coming into the game was really good.

“To come up against a really powerful French team was tough but the girls stuck at it, stuck in the fight all the way through, so a huge amount of credit there.

“Weather conditions were tough and put pressure on our set piece but in defence, and the ambition in attack was very pleasing.”

Scotland starting XV: Talei Tawake; Ella Ray; Megan Riach; Daisy Morrison; Aisla Merryweather; Holly Wilson; Emily Coubrough; Imogen Spence; Tamzin Rosie; Poppy Mellanby; Niamh MacGregor; Rianna Darroch; Mia Ryrie; Emily Love; Emily Norval
Replacements: Isla Pomroy; Ellie Moffat; Ella Williams; Louise Taperall; Gemma Thomson; Josie Foubister; Sophie Price; Scarlet Downs; Hollie Howland; Georgie Baxter; Faye Sutherland; Lisa Brown; Hannah Smyth

Wales v Scotland: KO 5.30pm

A gritty and physical game rounded off the first day of the Women’s U18 Six Nations Festival when Scotland U18 met Wales U18.

Scotland’s gutsy commitment in defence denied Wales multiple chances to score, including one within the 10th minute that saw Scotland hold the ball up over Wales’ try line. However, this was brought back for a penalty scrum and the speedy Welsh attack profited off a gap in Scottish defence.

Scotland showed valiant effort through several attacking phases which they unfortunately could not profit off of.

Some standout Scottish attacking performances came in the shape of Emily Coubrough and Scarlet Downs who battled through Welsh defence. Poppy Mellenby was also a standout with some fantastic breaks and a kick that was just a couple meters shy of a 50:22.

The Scots gave all they could for the 35 minute game, but just before the full-time whistle, Wales managed to squeeze in another five points.

Full-time: Scotland 0 – 12 Wales

Head coach Duncan Harrison said: “We started the game really well with pace and power but we just couldn’t cross the line.

“We showed incredible tenacity in the defence, I’m so proud of their defensive effort.

“We’ll be focusing on the attack side of things and I’m sure we’ll come to success in the scoreboard. I’m very pleased with the effort and the involvement of every member of the squad.”

Scotland starting XV: Louise Taperell, Isla Pomroy, Ella Williams (Captain), Gemma Thomson, Emily Coubrough, Imogen Spence, Sophie Price, Scarlet Downs, Hollie Howland, Poppy Mellenby, Georgie Baxter, Faye Sutherland, Lisa Brown, Emily Love, Hannah Smyth

Replacements: Ella Ray, Talie Tawake, Megan Riach, Ellie Moffet, Daisy Morrison, Aisla Merryweather, Holly Wilson, Josie Foubister, Tamzin Rosie, Niamh MacGregor, Rianna Darroch, Mia Ryrie, Emily Norval.

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