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Women's Six Nations: Wales 18-20 Scotland - visitors survive late comeback

Six Nations: Wales v Scotland

Wales (6) 18

Try: Tuipulotu, Callender Con: Bevan Pen: Bevan

Scotland (10) 20

Tries: Grant, Lloyd Cons: Nelson 2 Pen: Nelson

Scotland survived a late Wales comeback to secure a first Women's Six Nations victory on Welsh soil in 20 years.

Lleucu George missed a 79th minute conversion which would have secured a draw after Alex Callender's try.

Scotland led thanks to tries from Coreen Grant and Rhona Lloyd, while Sisilia Tuipulotu crossed to get Wales back in the game.

But there was to be no late heartbreak for Scotland this year as they extend their winning streak to seven matches.

Wales are now winless in four with a daunting away trip to England to come in round two.

Playing against the Arms Park elements, the game started well for Wales who took points on their first visit to Scotland's 22.

A solid scrum gave an attacking platform with the returning Natalia John carrying well to earn her side a penalty.

Scrum-half Keira Bevan, on kicking duty, slotted over into a stiff Cardiff breeze.

That should have settled early nerves, but Wales' defence were caught napping as Scotland launched their first meaningful attack.

They went through two phases off lineout ball with Lloyd releasing Grant on her wing, who outpaced the covering defence to score the opening try.

Helen Nelson added the touchline conversion.

Scotland then spent a period camped on Wales' try line and after some resolute defence, they settled for three points from the tee.

Waves of blue attack kept coming and Grant looked certain to be in for her second when she found herself up against forwards in the wide channel.

She stepped debutant full-back Jenny Hesketh with ease but Jaz Joyce saved Wales from a certain try with an outstanding cover tackle.

Momentum then shifted to Wales in the final 10 minutes of the half.

A Bethan Lewis turnover gave Wales a chance of a five metre attacking lineout, their main weapon last year, but the drive was brought down illegally.

Lewis picked up off the base of the scrum but she was held up a couple of metres short.

Wales continued to ask questions, but their lateral attack was easily defended. They opted for another Bevan penalty to cut deficit by four points going in at the break.

Wales made an early change for the second half, with Georgia Evans on for John in the second row.

They had hoped to have the wind on their backs, but the elements had died down in Scotland's favour.

Wales applied all the early pressure and won a penalty which would have given them an attacking lineout deep into Scotland's 22, but George missed touch.

Scotland in contrast were clinical when their opportunity arose from lineout ball, and it was a carbon copy of the first try.

Wales' defence were again unorganised which allowed Lloyd to fly down her wing and beat last defender Nel Metcalfe, who was later replaced by Carys Cox as Wales looked for some inspiration.

That typically came through the Welsh forwards and it was the star props Gwenllian Pyrs and Tuipulotu who carried well, before Tuipulotu eventually powered over to give the home crowd something to cheer.

Scotland were then dealt a blow when Lana Skeldon limped off injured after a lengthy delay, but it did little to dampen their spirit and they continued to ask questions of the Welsh defence.

There was to be no way through, as Scotland lost another key player in Sarah Bonar, but the clock ticked down with Wales unable to exit their 22.

Scotland took three points when Wales' scrum creaked to extend their lead with just over five minutes remaining.

That saw the introduction of debutant Sian Jones at scrum-half.

Rallied by a roaring 6,000 crowd, Wales threw everything at Scotland in the dying minutes, with the forwards going through phase after phase.

Callender went over, and after a dramatic television match official check for a double movement, the try was eventually awarded.

With Bevan off the field, George stepped up to take the conversion, but she was agonisingly wide with her effort.

Line-ups

Wales: Jenny Hesketh; Jasmine Joyce, Hannah Jones, Kerin Lake, Nel Metcalfe; Lleucu George, Keira Bevan; Gwenllian Pyrs, Kelsey Jones, Sisilia Tuipulotu, Natalia John, Abbie Fleming, Alisha Butchers, Alex Callender, Bethan Lewis.

Replacements: Carys Phillips, Abbey Constable, Donna Rose, Georgia Evans, Kate Williams, Sian Jones, Niamh Terry, Carys Cox.

Scotland: Meryl Smith; Rhona Lloyd, Emma Orr, Lisa Thomson, Coreen Grant; Helen Nelson, Caity Mattinson; Leah Bartlett, Lana Skeldon, Christine Belisle, Emma Wassell, Sarah Bonar, Rachel Malcolm, Alex Stewart, Evie Gallagher.

Replacements: Elis Martin, Molly Wright, Elliann Clarke, Louise McMillan, Eva Donaldson, Mairi McDonald, Shona Campbell, Chloe Rollie.

Match officials

Referee: Clara Munarini (FIR)

Touch judges: Sara Cox (RFU), Holly Wood (RFU)

TMO: Leo Colgan (IRFU)

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