Women's Six Nations: Scotland 27-20 Wales

By Ceri Coleman-PhillipsBBC Sport Wales
Women's 2021 Six Nations fifth place final: Scotland v Wales
Scotland (17) 27
Tries: Gaffney, Kennedy, Belisle, Gallagher Cons: Nelson (2) Pens: Nelson
Wales (6) 20
Tries: Neumann, Lewis Cons: Wilkins (2) Pens: Wilkins (2)

Scotland pipped Wales to a fifth-place finish in a highly entertaining finale to the 2021 Women's Six Nations.

There were first international tries for Megan Kennedy, Christine Belisle and Evie Gallagher, with Megan Gaffney also crossing for the hosts.

Lisa Neumann scored Wales' first try of the tournament, while her fellow wing Caitlin Lewis crossed late on.

Both sides were much improved after the first two rounds.

Scotland had made three changes to their starting XV after losing at home to Italy, while there were nine Wales changes after their heavy defeat to Ireland, with Hannah Jones leading the side in the absence of talismanic captain Siwan Lillicrap.

In glorious conditions at Scotstoun, both sides showed intent to put in a good performance and avoid the wooden spoon.

Scotland's forwards were magnificent all afternoon and showed great patience for the opening try, going through the phases before shipping the ball out wide for Gaffney to cross in the corner.

Wales once again struggled with the set-piece, but did have promising moments in the first half, sparked by some dazzling runs from full-back Jasmine Joyce, who was outstanding in both attack and defence.

Robyn Wilkins, who was preferred at fly-half to Elinor Snowsill, kicked two penalties to score Wales' first points of the tournament and to keep them in touching distance.

Scotland hit back when Wilkins' opposite number Helen Nelson put in a cross-field kick to set up an attack which was finished off by Kennedy, who shrugged off three defenders to cross.

There was also a try for her fellow prop Belisle, who took advantage of brilliant build-up play to squeeze over the line.

Wales came out firing after the break and dominated early possession.

Megan Davies, starting her first game at scrum-half, shipped the ball out to Neumann who showed good strength to beat two defenders and dive over in the corner.

Scotland absorbed the pressure and extended their lead through a well-worked line-out and driving mall finished off by Gallagher.

Hannah Jones
Hannah Jones captained Wales for the first time in the absence of the injured Siwan Lillicrap

But Wales never gave up, and even when the clock was in the red, they kept plugging away and were eventually rewarded with a try in the corner for Lewis, with Wilkins nailing her second touchline conversion of the afternoon.

For Scotland, it was their first Six Nations win at Scotstoun, while Wales will have plenty to take away and build on under their new management.

Women's Six Nations 2021: Wales coach Warren Abrahams excited by youngsters

Wales head coach Warren Abrahams told BBC Sport Wales: "The way they went today made me really proud as a coach. We've had an incredibly tough couple of weeks as you can imagine.

"I got a bit emotional because of the sacrifice, time and effort they put in. It was so pleasing the way they finished the game off with that try.

"We came here with zero points on the board and walked away with 20.

"There is loads we can take away from this one."

Scotland: Rollie, Musgrove, Smith, Thomson, Gaffney; Nelson, Maxwell; Belisle, Skeldon, Kennedy, Wassell, McMillan, Gallagher, McLachlan, Cattigan.

Replacements: Rettie, Bartlett, Cockburn, Howat, McDonald, Law, Wills, Shankland.

Wales: Joyce; Neumann, Rowland, H Jones (capt), Lewis; Wilkins, M Davies; Thomas, Lock, Rose, John, Wyn Davies, Johnes, Dainton, Georgia Evans.

Replacements: K Jones, Jenkins, Hale, Crabb, Powell-Hughes, Fleming, Knight, Webb.

Referee: Clara Munarini (FIR).

Assistant referees: Aurélie Groizeleau (FFR), Doriane Domenjo (FFR).

TMO: Graham Hughes (RFU).

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