SCOTLAND’s TikTok Six Nations campaign ended in the cruellest of defeats last night in Belfast to leave them at the bottom of the table without a win to their name.

Three second-half penalties from Helen Nelson had given them a six-point lead midway through the second half, but in the fourth minute of time added on, Ireland’s Enya Breen scored a try and converted to give her team a one-point victory.

The result leaves Scotland at the bottom of the table, with just three losing bonus points to their name after being beaten in all five of their games. Earlier in the day, England completed the Grand Slam with a 24-12 win over France, while Italy beat Wales 10-8. 

Scotland got off to a morale-boosting start at a rainy Kingspan Stadium with a try after four minutes. A penalty was sent to touch deep in the home 22, and although the maul was initially held up  on the line, they persisted patiently and eventually Evie Gallagher touched down. Nelson’s conversion attempt was wide.

Ireland soon got into their stride, and a break by Enya Breen momentarily threatened to create real danger. That move was snuffed out, but then, after Caity Mattinson strayed offside at a scrum, Hannah O’Connor opened the home team’s account with a penalty from 40 metres.

O’Connor missed another penalty, but then, two minutes before the break, Ireland did go ahead, with hooker Neve Jones finishing off from a driving maul. Breen’s conversion attempt skimmed the outside of the post to leave the score 8-5 at the break.

The early stages of the second half were a lot more positive from a Scots point of view as the backs began to spread the ball wide. The defence was again up to the task at first, but with 50 minutes on the clock they conceded a penalty from which Nelson drew the scores level.

Just before the hour mark the Irish offended again, in front of their own posts this time, and Nelson made no mistake to make it 11-8. Another penalty two minutes later, for offside this time, allowed the centre to add another three points to her team’s tally.

Ireland had not been seen as an attacking force in the second half, but having fallen six points behind they began to play with renewed urgency. With a dozen minutes to play they were awarded a kickable penalty on the edge of the 22 but went for touch instead. They drove the lineout then had phase after phase of assault on the Scotland line, but eventually lost possession after some outstanding work from Sarah Bonar and Louise McMillan.

The last play saw Ireland send a penalty to touch, and after a clean lineout take then sustained pressure, Breen plunged over the line in the fourth minute of additional time, adding the conversion to complete a dramatic comeback.


Ireland: Tries: Jones, Breen. Con: Breen. Pen: O’Connor.

Scotland: Try: Gallagher. Pens: Nelson 3.