Scotland send out big statement of intent as they battle back to draw with France

Scotland took a big stride forward as they fought back from 13-3 down to grab a draw with the world’s fourth best side France at Scotstoun yesterday in the Women’s Six Nations.

Rachel Shankland marked her Scotland debut with a vital a try in the Women's Six Nations match against France at Scotstoun.
Rachel Shankland marked her Scotland debut with a vital a try in the Women's Six Nations match against France at Scotstoun.

The positive result, ahead of further upcoming games in this event and World Cup qualifiers, was built on solid defence while No 8 Jade Konkel was named player of the match.

France had made all of their substitutions by the 58th minute and it came back to haunt them when they suffered an injury and had to play with 14 players for the rest of the match.

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Scotland sensed an opportunity and closed the gap to seven points in the 64th minute through a penalty by stand-off Helen Nelson before she missed another a couple of minutes later.

However, in the 73rd minute Scotland were level, a brilliant try out wide by winger Rachel Shankland on debut converted expertly by Nelson to make it 13-13. Given the Scots had not played a game in 37 weeks after a 53-0 loss versus England on February 10 this was a big statement of intent by interim head coach Bryan Easson’s side. “I am extremely proud of them, we have worked a lot over the last couple of weeks on relentlessness and I think the hard work paid off,” Easson said.

“At 8-3 down at half-time we weren’t panicking, we showed more patience in the second half and got our rewards. We now take a lot of positives into the Wales game this Sunday.”

France took the lead in the sixth minute when second-row Safi N’Diaye went over for an unconverted try.

The Scots got into their rhythm soon after though and earned a penalty which Nelson kicked to make it 5-3.

Jessy Tremouliere kicked a penalty for France to make it 8-3 and, despite some good stuff from the Scots, it stayed that way until the break.

Scotland wanted a good start to the second period, but it was France who extended their lead in the 45th minute, hooker Agathe Sochat with the unconverted score.

Scotland then made some changes and, with France shorthanded in the last 22 minutes they played some of their best rugby seen in the last couple of years to grab the draw.

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