Rugby is coming back!
The women’s Six Nations was disrupted by combinations of coronavirus, Storm Ciara, and more coronavirus. While the men’s tournament was almost completed, Scotland’s women could only play two games: an 18-14 heartbreak against Ireland, and a 53-0 thrashing by England.
Two losses from two might not seem encouraging, but let’s look at the facts: Scotland seems to have improved their defence from last year’s 80-0 clobbering from England, and the team have already equalled their one losing bonus point from 2019’s tournament, with three games yet to play. Things are looking up!
This year, Wales are below Scotland on points difference, with two fewer games left in play, having beaten Scotland by only two excruciating points in their meeting last year. It seems hopeful, then, that our women will avoid the wooden spoon in 2020. Scotland’s close run loss to Ireland, who beat Wales 31-12, also suggests that Wales are definitely beatable this winter.
However, they’ve got France to contend with first, a professional team who mirror the talent and wildness of their male counterparts. In the Women’s Six Nations, only England can currently measure up, having recorded a 19-13 win in February. The Scottish ladies are definitely improving, but against France all they can hope for this year is some points on the board. Doyle might think it’s worth testing some exciting new players against this colossus of a French team. Prediction: Scotland 10-40 France.
After their agonising loss last year, Scotland will have a point to prove against Wales, and will have the bonus of more match-fitness after their outing against France, while the Welsh team might be fresher. It could be a brutal match, but I think it’s one that Scotland will edge out, with the team sheet depending on form from the previous game, but definitely edging towards experience. Prediction: Wales 14-19 Scotland.
Italy, another team formed mostly of amateur players, is a win to aim for: Scotland, at their best, could overpower them, but until we’ve seen their form against France and Wales, it’s hard to know how they’ll measure up. Against Italy, especially away from home, I’d suggest Head Coach Philip Doyle will go for experienced players who can keep a cool head, but will it be enough? Prediction: Italy 12-12 Scotland.
Let me know your predictions in the comments, and keep an eye out for my next Scotland women’s rugby post, where I’ll give my suggested Scotland starting XV against France.