Wales Women claim close win

Ospreys Women’s Kerin Lake scored the crucial third try as Wales opened their Women's Six Nations account with an 18-17 win against Scotland in Colwyn Bay.

The result went some way to atoning for their single-point loss in this same fixture last year, although both sides will have reasons to be optimistic after some very good passages of play.

The North Wales crowd erupted in the 12th minute as the ball found one of their own, RGC's Jess Kavanagh-Williams, who blazed down the left wing to score in the corner. Jodie Evans's conversion attempt fell just short, but Wales had something to show for their early dominance. 5-0.

Evans got a second shot at goal near the half-hour mark, and this time made sure the ball sailed through the posts for an 8-0 lead. 

Wales were made to show grit, patience and determination to end a lengthy spell of Scottish pressure in the Welsh 22, and through some excellent counter-rucking came through it unscathed.

Then, with 40 minutes gone, Hannah Bluck powered her way through the Scottish opposition from close quarters to score a try on debut, giving Wales a 13-0 half-time lead.

Only a minute into the second half and Scotland made good on some earlier threats at the Welsh line, when a dangerous turn of pace from fullback Chloe Rollie took her past the Welsh defence to score an unconverted try. 13-5.

Ten minutes later, Wales centre Kerin Lake marked her return to international rugby with a try, taking advantage of the narrow Scottish defence, which she rounded with aplomb. 18-5.

Scotland then effected a turnover and it was Rollie again who registered the five points, reminding the Welsh defence of her impressive finishing skills. 18-10.

Well into the final quarter, and it was Scotland who were in the ascendancy. A converted try from five metres out made it a one-point game and Wales needed to see the game out.

Wales turned to their forwards, who had proved more than reliable so far in the match, and were not disappointed. Led by hooker and Player of the Match Carys Phillips, they stormed their way up the field to a position where they could wind down the clock and kick the ball to touch for a hard-fought but deserved victory.