Rugby World Cup: Scotland need to fire themselves up for Wallaroos showdown


Scotland lost to Wales last week in a dramatic finish
Place: Semenoff Stadium, Whangarei Date: October 15, Saturday Start: 03:00 BST
Coverage: BBC Radio 5 Live, BBC Sounds and online commentary, with live text coverage

Scotland need to bounce back from their crushing defeat to Wales which opened their Women’s Rugby World Cup campaign.

The Wallaroos gave host nation New Zealand a scare competition curtain raiser and they know they need to beat Scotland and Wales to ensure they qualify for the knockout stages.

For Scotland, it’s win or lose.

What happened last weekend?

Another part of the litany of close calls between Scotland and Wales. Another nerve-wracking final. Another defeat for Scotland, incredibly hard.

Scotland trailed 15-5 with 65 minutes remaining, pounding the Welsh line repeatedly before Megan Gaffney slotted home in the left corner.

Wales hit back and should have killed the game when they burned a meter from the Scotland line. Easson’s side held firm and leveled the scores in the dying minutes through another superb finish from the left by Gaffney.

Helen Nelson drove both conversions wide.

When Scotland broke five minutes from red after a series of Welsh phases, Keira Bevan stepped up with a potentially fatal penalty for Scotland’s campaign.

Scotland captain Rachel Malcolm, who had 24 caps in the tournament, said: “I know this team and we’ll rally around each other and fight to come back better next week.

“We showed what we can do in bits and pieces. It’s about doing it consistently for 80 minutes. We know Australia will be a huge challenge, but it’s about putting everything we’ve got into the game.”

The challenge ahead

Australia's Georgina Friedrichs is playing against New Zealand
Australia came close to beating hosts New Zealand

Australia gave New Zealand – one of the dominant forces in the women’s game – an almighty scare in their tournament opener.

The Wallaroos led 17-0 at the break before the hosts responded with 41 unanswered points after the break, with flying teenage wing Bienne Terita scoring two of three tries as she lived up to her star reputation.

The 19-year-old is a sevens player and is already proving himself in the XV. This was just his second try – and his second against the Black Ferns – and his try tally is four.

Australia have a number of big names in their ranks, including flanker Shannon Parry and the versatile Sharni Williams, the latter of whom recently helped her country to the Rugby World Cup Sevens crown.

On the other hand, Jay Tregonning’s side are not in good form, having lost their seventh in a row on Saturday.

However, four of those have come against the mighty New Zealand. Australia will be heavy favorites against the Scots.