Promising signs for Scots despite Lana injury
Spain 12, Scotland 36
It’s a big year for the ladies as they follow the highs and lows of their South African tour and Autumn Test series with the upcoming Six Nations tournament and then qualifiers for the Rugby World Cup next year in New Zealand.
Two Borders players – Lisa Thomson and Lana Skeldon – played high-profile roles as the Scots defeated a nation ranked two places above them.
While the Spaniards were in the ascendancy for lengthy spells, Scotland hit them early and late in the first half before pulling clear in the second 40.
Lana Skeldon, from Hawick, suffered an apparent ankle injury while preventing a try and had to retire in the second half, having also spent 10 late first-half minutes in the cooler.
Lisa Thomson, also of Hawick, played at centre and was involved in a number of prominent moves, as well as assisting in defence and contributing some excellent kicking to touch.
In fact, Lisa gave the final pass for Hannah Smith to score Scotland’s opening try after just 90 seconds, following a good turnover on the left flank. Helen Nelson converted.
There was powerful running and good passing from Lisa, and the other Scots, before Megan Gaffney scored the second try in eight minutes.
Skeldon held the ball on the tee in the blustery conditions but Nelson missed the very tricky kick.
Spain began to threaten and careless handling by the Scots led to Urribari Barratieta scoring in the corner for 5-12.
When Skeldon was yellow-carded, Spain took a quick tap-penalty just as she left the field, and scored a try, converted superbly by playmaker Patricia Garcia to level the scores.
A superb breakaway try by Hannah Smith, converted by Nelson, put the Scots 19-12 up shortly before half time.
After the break, Spain enjoyed some more of the play – until a kick from defence by Amalia Argudo was charged down by Rachel McLachlan and Siobhan Cattigan, giving Leah Bartlett an easy route for her debut try.
The goal extras were simple also for Nelson.
Lisa Thomson gave valuable help in defence during some prolonged Spanish attacking, while Skeldon joined a growing Scottish injury list on 57 minutes, having held up Lide Erbina on the line and stopped a try.
Molly Wright replaced Skeldon and later scored the Scots’ final try of the day. A brilliant kick to touch by Thomson was the platform for a pushover try by Wright on 74 minutes, after an excellent maul.
Five minutes earlier in a fine move, sweeping from left to right, Rhona Lloyd had scored Scotland’s fifth try.
Head coach Philip Doyle said: “They had to dig themselves out of some holes at certain stages in the match but there are so many positives to take.”