U20 6N WSS: “We are gutted, that was not a performance that reflects where this group is at,” says Cruikshank

Gary Heatly

Scotland’s under-20 Six Nations Women’s Summer Series campaign ended on a disappointing note on Sunday with defeat to Ireland in Parma.

Ireland were 13-0 up before a converted try just before half-time gave Scotland hope, but the opponents were on the front foot in the second half and won 37-7.

It means Scotland head home having lost three from three.

What they said…

Scotland head coach Claire Cruikshank:  “We are gutted. I don’t think that was a performance that reflected where this group is at, we are just gutted about it.

“The try gave us a bit of confidence and we went into half-time feeling good, obviously we hadn’t had much ball before that so we thought it might have been a turning point for us, but unfortunately things just didn’t go our way in the second half and we were on the end of that scoreline.

“They got going [in the second period], but I don’t think we played our own game. Things that we have been good at in the tournament, defence and attack, just didn’t click in the second half and, in the whole game really, things didn’t click and come together at the same time.

“There are definitely lessons for the players to take from this and learn from going forward and that’s what this event is about. They have had three tough games and they’ll take things away that can help them adapt as they prepare to try and play international rugby in the future.”

A review of the match…

Ireland took the lead in the Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi in the sixth minute thanks to a try from tighthead prop Sophie Barrett. It was converted by Kate Flannery, the stand-off, and it was 7-0.

A good run by tighthead prop Eilidh Fleming got Scotland going as they looked to get on the board soon after and they were edging into things.

With the first quarter coming towards an end, Scotland stand-off Ceitidh Ainsworth was stretchered off injured.

Flannery then kicked a penalty and it was 10-0 after 20 minutes. Scotland were then held up over the try line as they probed to get on the scoreboard.

A second Flannery penalty made it 13- 0 after 27 minutes.

Scotland had a good period of pressure before the break and, after being patient to go through the phases, centre Lucia Scott scored a try. Fellow centre Lucy MacRae converted to give them hope at 13-7.

It was all Ireland after the interval.

After 51 minutes Ireland scored their second try of the game when hooker Beth Buttimer went over for a five-pointer.

The same player bagged another try after 59 minutes, converted by Flannery, and it was 25-7 as the final water break came in the heat.

Three minutes later the hooker completed an 11-minute hat-trick and it was 30-7.

In the 72nd minute Scotland replacement Lucy Christie was yellow carded and then Ireland sub Hannah Wilson scored the final try, converted by fellow sub Ellen O’Sullivan-Sexton.

Summer-y of the Summer Series game…

  • As Claire Cruikshank said, this showing was not a true reflection of this Scotland group. It is hard to put a finger on why that was, maybe injuries over the three games left the squad stretched and tired, but this result will stay with the players for a while.

  • When Scotland’s attack got going just before half-time they showed how clinical they can be, but in this game and throughout the event those flashes have been sporadic. Playing in the right areas of the field and exiting when needed is a work on along with a more consistent attacking game.

  • In games of rugby you need to find ways to wrestle back momentum and, in the second half here, Scotland sadly didn’t have any answers to Ireland’s power game.

To come…

Scotland’s tournament is over after 17-13 and 69-10 losses to Italy and France respectively and this recerse.

Scotland matchday 23 that played Ireland

15. Izzy McGuire-Evans (Sale Sharks/Glasgow Warriors)

14. Sky Phimister (Stirling County/Glasgow Warriors)

13. Lucia Scott (Hartpury University/Gloucester Hartpury)

12. Lucy MacRae (University of Edinburgh/Glasgow Warriors)

11. Hannah Walker (University of Edinburgh/Edinburgh Rugby, C-C)

10. Ceitidh Ainsworth (Stirling County/Glasgow Warriors)

9. Leia Brebner-Holden (Gloucester Hartpury/Edinburgh Rugby)

1. Poppy Fletcher (University of Edinburgh/Edinburgh Rugby, C-C)

2. Aila Ronald (University of Edinburgh/Edinburgh Rugby)

3. Eilidh Fleming (Stirling County/Glasgow Warriors)

4. Holland Bogan (Stirling County/Glasgow Warriors)

5. Natasha Logan (University of Edinburgh/Edinburgh Rugby)

6. Merryn Gunderson (Corstorphine Cougars/Edinburgh Rugby)

7. Gemma Bell (Hartpury University/Gloucester Hartpury/Edinburgh Rugby)

8. Megan Hyland (Garioch/Glasgow Warriors)


16. Karis Craig (Watsonian FC/Glasgow Warriors)

17. Chloe Brown (Stirling County/Glasgow Warriors)

18. Poppy Clarkson (Biggar)

19. Lucy Christie (Newcastle University)

20. Samanther Tagnanekurukuru (Stirling County/Edinburgh Rugby)

21. Lauryn Walter (Brunel University/Ealing Trailfinders)

22. Rhea Clarke (University of Edinburgh/Glasgow Warriors)

23. Hannah Ramsay (Unattached/Edinburgh Rugby)

Scotland are pictured versus Ireland, thanks to Scottish Rugby for the image

During the under-20 Six Nations Women’s Summer Series period through July, GH Media will be covering all aspects of the tournament…

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