WXV 2 build up: Bryan Easson is “very pleased” with shape squad is in heading for South Africa after Spain victory

Gary Heatly

Scotland head coach Bryan Easson is “very pleased” with the shape his squad is in ahead of the upcoming WXV 2 tournament after Saturday night’s triumph over Spain made it three wins on the spin.

The Scots went into the clash at Hive Stadium in Edinburgh looking to build on April victories over Italy and Ireland and they did just that, scoring six tries to come out on top 36-5.

They will now head off to South Africa on Thursday for the WXV 2 event and Easson said:  “This game was really good preparation for WXV 2.

“We spoke at half-time just about putting them under a little bit more pressure in their back field. When we kick chased in the first half and put them under pressure we turned them over a few times, but we over played in the middle third a bit.

“We felt that our ball retention had to improve in the second half, we started to speed things up a bit and we were also winning the collision battle and that allowed us to put Spain under a lot of pressure.

“I thought our defensive lineout was superb and put them under a lot of pressure, so the likes of Sarah Bonar and Rachel Malcom must take a lot of credit for that.

“Defensively, in general, we put in some good sets and that meant that our attack started to flow better and, overall, I am very pleased with where we are as we head to South Africa.”

In front of a crowd of 2,258 both teams took time to get going in wet conditions before Spain skipper Cristina Blanco went over for an unconverted try from a lineout drive.

Just before the half hour mark, a number of penalties were earned in Spain territory and the ball was shipped wide and centre Emma Orr fed second-row Sarah Bonar who went in for a five pointer.

It gave the Scots a boost and next up was a brilliant try through winger Rhona Lloyd.

She was well set up and the GB Sevens flyer Lloyd did the rest from just outside her own ‘22’. It was unconverted and it was 10-5.

They scored a crucial third unconverted try just on the stroke of half-time, centre Meryl Smith going over for 15-5.

Scotland were keen to kick on in the second period and try number four came in the 50th minute.

This time Orr set up winger Francesca McGhie who scorched in at the corner. Nelson converted.

Scotland were in full flow now and try number five came in the 57th minute when player of the match Orr glided over. Nelson converted for 29-5.

Try number six came with nine minutes to go to put the icing on the cake, replacement hooker Elis Martin scoring with Nelson converting.

Spain suffered a late yellow card and all focus for Scotland now is WXV 2 with Scotland taking on hosts South Africa first up on October 13.

Easson reported that everyone named in the 30-strong squad looks set to be fit to travel with Coreen Grant (recently broken finger) and Jade Konkel (recovering from a syndesmosis injury) coming along well.

Scotland versus Spain: Chloe Rollie; Rhona Lloyd, Emma Orr, Meryl Smith, Francesca McGhie; Helen Nelson, Mairi McDonald; Leah Bartlett, Lana Skeldon, Christine Belisle, Louise McMillan, Sarah Bonar, Rachel Malcolm (C), Rachel McLachlan, Evie Gallagher. Subs: Elis Martin, Anne Young, Lisa Cockburn, Emma Wassell, Eva Donaldson, Caity Mattinson, Lisa Thomson, Liz Musgrove.

Scotland scorers versus SpainTries: Bonar, Lloyd, Smith, McGhie, Orr, Martin. Cons: Nelson 3.

Keep an eye out on GH Media’s channels for Scotland women’s coverage up to and through to the end of WXV 2 in October…

Thanks to Mark Brown/Rugby People of the image of Scotland celebrating the third try