Women’s 6N: “Proud is an understatement” says skipper Rachel Malcolm after Scots show character in spades to see off Italy

Gary Heatly

Scotland captain Rachel Malcolm was an emotional and proud leader after her team defeated Italy in the TikTok Women’s Six Nations on Saturday.

The 29-21 round four triumph at the DAM Health Stadium with a bonus point was Scotland’s first win in a Test since last February with 12 games having been lost in a row in between.

In front of a crowd of 3, 638 in Edinburgh the hosts looked to be on the way to a win when they went 24-7 up in the second half.

However, two converted tries got Italy back into things before they suffered a red card and Scotland saw the job out meaning they now have their sights set on a fourth placed finish and another positive result versus Ireland next Saturday.

“We talked before the game about the fact that there would be purple patches, but also that we’d make mistakes and both times we were under the sticks at 24-14 and 24-21 we went back to what we’d talked about,” back-row Rachel Malcolm said.

“I wanted the girls to go back to what they personally are good at, whether that is ball carrying, getting over ball etc, and I just said ‘you do you’, don’t try and overcomplicate anything.

“The way we responded from them closing the gap shows what we are all about, particularly the defensive set late on in the middle of the field, they weren’t going anywhere, we were winning penalties and dominating up front.

“We have known as a team that that performance was in there and it was just about walking the walk and I think we did that throughout the whole game.

“Proud is an understatement, it has been a long time coming.”

Asked about that pride and whether this is her proudest moment in a Scotland shirt as captain, she replied:  “I think potentially it is. If I am truly honest this has been my hardest year ever as a sports person. There have been some pretty dark times for various reasons, but one thing that has made me proud is how we have stuck together as a squad and to beat the fifth best team in the world after three losses just shows the character within the squad, it shows how incredible this group of people are.

“I had 100 percent belief, I knew we were going to win this game.

“Tough times make you better, but they are also really tough, so we will enjoy this win then back it up, that’s the most important thing.”

Scotland V Italy: Chloe Rollie; Coreen Grant, Lisa Thomson, Meryl Smith, Francesca McGhie; Helen Nelson, Mairi McDonald; Leah Bartlett, Lana Skeldon, Christine Belisle, Jade Konkel-Roberts, Louise McMillan, Rachel Malcolm (C), Rachel McLachlan, Evie Gallagher. Subs: Jodie Rettie, Anne Young, Elliann Clarke, Eva Donaldson, Eilidh Sinclair, Caity Mattinson, Beth Blacklock, Liz Musgrove.

Keep an eye out on GH Media’s channels for comprehensive coverage of all things Scotland throughout the TikTok Women’s Six Nations…

Via the Scottish Rugby Twitter feed, Rachel Malcolm and her team celebrate at the final whistle in the main image