WXV 2: GH Media’s very unofficial Scotland end of tournament awards

Gary Heatly

Scotland were recently playing in the WXV 2 tournament in South Africa and six tries saw them defeat Japan in their final match.

That helped them lift the trophy and record Test win number six on the spin, a run that last happened in 2001.

So, it seems fitting to hand out six very unofficial Scotland end of WXV 2 tournament awards via GH Media…

Scotland’s forward of WXV 2: Evie Gallagher

No.8 Evie Gallagher took the very unofficial award for the best forward during the TikTok Women’s Six Nations earlier this year and she has followed it up here.

She only turned 23 a couple of months ago, but every time she takes to the pitch these days she looks like someone who has been playing at the top level for many years.

On both sides of the ball she is a real leader for Scotland and her work with assistant coach Tyrone Holmes, himself a former back-rower, is clearly paying off.

Since missing last year’s Rugby World Cup through injury she really has gone from strength-to-strength.

Scotland’s back of WXV 2: Emma Orr

Like Evie Gallagher, centre Emma Orr is still young, but looks like she has been around for a while.

The 20-year-old has been a revelation since she came into the squad during the Tik Tok Women’s Six Nations of 2022 away to Wales aged just 18.

She scored a try in the Autumn Test versus Spain and then scored two against Japan in the final WXV 2 match and her angles of running and awareness of space is impressive.

Defensively she seems to read the game well and she connects well with the players either side of her. There is no ceiling on how good she can be and she should have a long and fruitful career ahead.

Scotland’s unsung hero(es) of WXV 2: Demi Swann, Elliann Clarke, Fiona McIntosh, Sarah Law and Beth Blacklock

This award goes to the five players – Demi Swann, Elliann Clarke, Fiona McIntosh, Sarah Law and Beth Blacklock – from the 30-strong squad who were in South Africa who did not get on the pitch.

Both head coach Bryan Easson and captain Rachel Malcolm hailed their input in getting the matchday 23s ready for games.

“I cannot explain the incredible people that we have within this squad, it takes a huge amount of character to take that level of disappointment each week and do everything you can for the people playing to be where we are,” Malcolm said.

Scotland’s try of WXV 2: Sarah Bonar versus Japan

With 15 tries scored across three matches there were plenty to choose from with winger Francesca McGhie’s effort versus USA catching the eye.

However, there can only be one winner here and that is replacement second-row Sarah Bonar’s score against Japan.

The 29-year-old had missed the first two matches due to a back spasm, but she wasted no time in getting involved when she got onto the field against the Japanese.

With 14 minutes to go Japan replacement Minori Yamamoto’s chip kick was swallowed up by Bonar and she galloped in from 40 metres.

It was a brilliant moment and her team mates celebrated with her afterwards.

Scotland’s best show of leadership during WXV 2: The calmness shown versus Japan

The calmness shown versus Japan in the first half of game three was very important.

With Italy not playing until the next day Scotland knew they needed a bonus point win in this one to realistically keep their title hopes alive.

They went down 7-0 early and things were not quite going to plan in the first half, but there was no panic in the group and the leaders on the pitch took control.

A penalty try came just before half-time with an opposition player yellow carded and the team just built and built from there to a 38-7 triumph.

Scotland’s bring a smile to the face moment of WXV 2: The trophy lift

There were plenty of moments that brought smiles to the faces of Scotland supporters watching on from afar in recent weeks including the aforementioned Sarah Bonar try and just generally the confidence with which the team is playing with these days.

However, there can only be one winner and the trophy lift by captain Rachel Malcolm with her squad mates around her in the Athlone Sports Stadium in Cape Town was special.

From 12 Test losses in a row this team have turned things around remarkable to win six Tests on the spin and now pick up some silverware and the trophy lift was a memorable moment.

That is the end of GH Media’s coverage of Scotland women taking part in WXV 2 – hope you have enjoyed and thanks for your support…

Thanks to World Rugby for the main image of the Scotland captain Rachel Malcolm and head coach Bryan Easson