Scots knocked out of World Cup after heavy defeat by Black Ferns

Scotland Women’s Rugby World Cup Squad 2022

Scotland’s Rugby World Cup campaign ended in a 57-0 hammering by New Zealand in Whangarei to condemn them to bottom spot in Pool A.

After the dramatic nature of their two earlier defeats by Wales and Australia – by just three and two points respectively – this result was never in doubt as the Black Ferns had the bonus point wrapped up within 17 minutes.

Even though Scotland rallied in the second half, they couldn’t avoid a ninth successive defeat – they haven’t won a game since beating Colombia to qualify for this tournament.

The Scots conceded more than a point a minute in the first half, leaking seven tries overall as they were stretched too easily out wide and broken too easily through the middle. At one point it looked as though New Zealand might surpass the 76-0 winning margin from RWC 1998 given their ruthlessness.

New Zealand’s dominance in that period was illustrated by the fact that they carried the ball for more than 600 metres than Scotland (633 to 27) and the Scots missed more tackles than New Zealand had to make (23 to 22), not to mention the territory and possession statistics overwhelmingly in the hosts’ favour.

Scotland had a couple of purple patches (yes, we had to throw in a pun in reference to their lilac kit) in the second half, when they were able to set up camp in New Zealand’s half as the hosts gave away a succession of penalties, but they couldn’t make the most of those opportunities and ultimately lost possession.

Their defence wasn’t breached as easily after the break – conceding only two tries – but the damage had been done in that opening 40 minutes and they will now be heading home.

Scotland team to play New Zealand – Saturday 22 October

Shona Campbell; Rhona Lloyd, Emma Orr, Lisa Thomson, Hannah Smith; Helen Nelson, Caity Mattinson; Molly Wright, Lana Skeldon, Christine Belisle, Emma Wassell, Sarah Bonar, Rachel Malcolm (captain), Rachel McLachlan, Jade Konkel-Roberts.

Replacements: Jodie Rettie, Leah Bartlett, Katie Dougan, Lyndsay O’Donnell, Louise McMillan, Mairi McDonald, Meryl Smith, Liz Musgrove.

Scotland 12-14 Australia

The heartbreak continues for Scotland. After last week’s last-kick defeat by Wales, they then let slip a 12-0 lead against Australia to lose 14-12 in their Rugby World Cup Pool A match in Whangarei. The Scots will now need to beat five-time world champions New Zealand next weekend to have any hope of qualifying for the quarter-finals.

It had all looked so good for the Scots at half-time as they led 12-0 after their maul had dominated, but they arguably didn’t build a big enough lead in that opening 40 minutes – and they were punished for that after the break.

Lana Skeldon crossed within ten minutes when their driving lineout went over in the corner. The Scots were then awarded a penalty try before the half-hour mark after a succession of lineouts five metres from the Australia line. The Wallaroos repeated infringements saw referee Lauren Jenner head under the sticks to blow her whistle and hooker Adiana Talakai was sin-binned for collapsing a maul.

Throughout that first half Scotland were the better side. Rhona Lloyd looked lively on the wing (she was denied a try by some last-ditch Australian tackling), their kicking game put pressure on their opponents and their defence was also able to hold out the Wallaroos in the closing minutes of the first period when those in gold aimed to get the ball wide.

However, momentum swung Australia’s way in the second half and Scotland were on defensive duty for much of it as their inability to clear from their 22 gave Australia the territory to put on pressure.

From one scrum in midfield their defence finally cracked as Australia spread the ball left, right and back again to stretch Scotland and create the overlap out wide for Bienne Terita to score.

Then Ashley Marsters crashed over and Lori Cramer added the conversion to give the Wallaroos a two-point lead with just six minutes left.

There were chances for Scotland in the closing minutes as the Wallaroos were shown two red cards following dangerous tackles. First, Marsters was sent off, then Talakai was shown another yellow, which was upgraded to red due to her first-half sin-binning, but Scotland couldn’t get out of their own half when presented with those late opportunities and the Wallaroos held on for a narrow win.

That’s now nine straight defeats for Scotland, with the daunting prospect of the Black Ferns to come next week.

Scotland team to play Australia – Saturday 15 October

Chloe Rollie; Rhona Lloyd, Emma Orr, Lisa Thomson, Hannah Smith; Helen Nelson, Caity Mattinson; Molly Wright, Lana Skeldon, Christine Belisle, Emma Wassell, Sarah Bonar, Rachel Malcolm (captain), Rachel McLachlan, Jade Konkel-Roberts.

Replacements: Jodie Rettie, Leah Bartlett, Elliann Clarke, Lyndsay O’Donnell, Mairi McDonald, Sarah Law, Evie Wills, Shona Campbell.

Wales 18-15 Scotland

A late Keira Bevan penalty condemned Scotland to an 18-15 defeat by Wales in their opening Rugby World Cup match.

It had looked like the game was heading for a draw when Megan Gaffney crossed for her second try in the 79th minute to make it 15-15 but there was time for a restart and Wales earned a penalty four minutes after the final buzzer had sounded.

Up stepped replacement scrum-half Bevan to take the kick and she was surrounded by her team-mates as the ball sailed through the posts.

It was a real blow for Scotland, who had fought their way back into the match having trailed 15-5 at half-time – and they will surely rue the points they missed from the tee. In all, Helen Nelson was off-target with two penalties and three conversions, which would have amounted to 12 points.

Their only points of the first half came from Lana Skeldon’s try, which resulted from a driving maul and was the sandwich filling to two Wales’ scores.

Both sides then struggled to build any momentum in the second period, errors and penalties making it a very stop-start match. Plus, there was a lengthy delay while Elidh Sinclair was treated for an injury.

The first points of the half didn’t arrive until the 66th minute, when Wales were reduced to 14 players, and Scotland spread the ball wide from a scrum, with Gaffney scoring in the corner.

Yet for the scrappy nature of the first 70 minutes there was plenty of drama in the last ten. First Alisha Butchers made a brilliant break but was hauled down metres short of the line and then left the field injured – should she have passed to Keira Bevan on the inside or Jasmine Joyce on the outside?

Then a series of penalties allowed Scotland to gain territory and when Joyce was sin-binned for a deliberate knock-on, Lisa Thomson found touch in the 22. From the lineout Scotland built an attack that saw Gaffney go over for her second try, but Helen Nelson couldn’t kick the conversion.

While Nelson missed all her kicks from the tee, Bevan made no mistake with the last kick of the match. Scotland will now turn their attention to next week’s match against Australia.

Scotland team to play Wales – Sunday 9 October

Chloe Rollie, Rhona Lloyd, Hannah Smith, Lisa Thomson, Megan Gaffney; Helen Nelson, Caity Mattinson; Molly Wright, Lana Skeldon, Christine Belisle, Emma Wassell, Sarah Bonar, Rachel Malcolm (captain), Louise McMillan, Jade Konkel-Roberts.

Replacements: Jodie Rettie, Leah Bartlett, Elliann Clarke, Lyndsay O’Donnell, Eilidh Sinclair, Mairi McDonald, Meryl Smith, Shona Campbell.

Scotland Women’s Rugby World Cup Squad 2022

Not since 2010 have Scotland women competed in a Rugby World Cup. Well they left it late, but there were scenes of jubilation as they became the 12th and final side to qualify for the 2022 event, after beating Colombia in Dubai in February.

And in naming the Scotland Women’s Rugby World Cup squad for this one, experience has come to the fore.

Stalwart lock Emma Wassell is the most capped player in the side, with 57, and she is joined by Jade Konkel-Roberts,  Lana Skeldon, Sarah Law and Chloe Rollie as the others in the group with over half a century of caps.

Scotland will need every ounce of that experience in a formidable Pool A with Australia, Wales, and hosts New Zealand. Scotland finished last in the recent Women’s Six Nations and their last warm-up match against Spain having to be cancelled will not have made the job selecting a squad any easier.

All three of Scotland’s pool matches will be played in Whangarei.

Coach Bryan Easson said of selection: “We are all incredibly excited for the month ahead. I think it’s been a long time coming. It was exactly this time last year that we were in Italy trying to qualify.

“A lot of discussions have been had, a lot of players have been played over the past year as well. The process around that was to make sure we had the right players going. Selection has been tough as the players trained exceptionally hard over the summer. Getting the players back from the Commonwealth Games has been exciting for us as well.

“Everyone should feel incredibly proud of being selected for the tournament. I know the squad and management are ready for the challenge ahead.”

Here’s the Scotland Women’s Rugby World Cup squad.



Shona Campbell (7 Jun 2001, Edinburgh University, wing)

Megan Gaffney (3 Dec 1991, Loughborough Lightning, wing)

Coreen Grant (30 Jan 1998, Saracens, centre)

Sarah Law (19 Dec 1994, Sale Sharks, fly-half)

Rhona Lloyd (17 Oct 1996, Les Lionnes du Stade Bordelais, wing)

Caity Mattinson (17 May 1996, Worcester Warriors, scrum-half)

Mairi McDonald (25 Nov 1997, Hillhead Jordanhill, scrum-half)

Liz Musgrove (25 Dec 1996, Watsonians, wing)

Helen Nelson (24 May 1994, Loughborough Lightning, fly-half)

Emma Orr (6 Apr 2003, Biggar, centre)

Chloe Rollie (26 Jun 1995, Exeter Chiefs, full-back)

Eilidh Sinclair (6 Jul 1995, Exeter Chiefs, full-back)

Hannah Smith (30 Oct 1992, Watsonians, centre)

Meryl Smith (11 Jun 2001, Edinburgh University, centre)

Lisa Thomson (7 Sept 1997, Sale Sharks, centre)

Evie Wills (4 Feb 2001, Hillhead Jordanhill, centre)


Leah Bartlett (28 Aug 1998, Loughborough Lightning, prop)

Christine Belisle (4 Nov 1993, Loughborough Lightning, prop)

Sarah Bonar (2 September 1994, Harlequins, lock)

Elliann Clarke (16 Feb 2001, Edinburgh University, prop)

Katie Dougan (15 Jan 95, Gloucester-Hartpury, prop)

Evie Gallagher (22 Aug 2000, Worcester Warriors, back-row) Replaced by Elis Martin (23 May 1999, Heriots, hooker) on 23 Sept after being ruled out of World Cup due to injury. Replaced by Eva Donaldson after suffering an elbow injury in the opening match against Wales

Jade Konkel-Roberts (9 Dec 1993, Harlequins, back-row)

Rachel Malcolm (23 May 1991, Loughborough Lightning, back-row)

Rachel McLachlan (26 Feb 1999, Sale Sharks, back-row)

Louise McMillan (27 July 1997, Saracens, lock)

Lyndsay O’Donnell (21 June 1993, Worcester Warriors, lock)

Lana Skeldon (18 Oct 1993, Worcester Warriors, hooker)

Jodie Rettie (31 Dec 1990, Saracens, hooker)

Emma Wassell (28 Dec 1994, Loughborough Lightning, lock)

Molly Wright (13 May 1991, Sale Sharks, hooker)

Anne Young (17 Mar 2000, Heriot’s Rugby, prop)

Scotland Women’s Rugby World Cup Fixtures 2022

(All kick-off times are UK & Ireland time)

Pool A

Sun 9 Oct, Wales 18-15 Scotland

Sat 15 Oct, Scotland 12-14 Australia

Sat 22 Oct, New Zealand 57-0 Scotland

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