Scotland women pulled off a dramatic 20-18 victory over Ireland to keep their World Cup qualifying hopes alive.
All four teams in the qualifying group were tied with five points before the match, with Scotland knowing that anything less than a win against Ireland wouldn’t be enough.
Scotland’s automatic qualification fate was out of their own hands by the time they kicked off after Italy beat Spain to top the group.
Even if Scotland won with a bonus point, it wouldn’t be enough to overtake the Italians due to their head to head difference.
Could not be more proud of this team. The work they have put in and the belief they have shown is testament to the sacrifices they have made over the last 18 months. @Scotlandteam #AsOne pic.twitter.com/0CazGvAsog
— Bryan Easson (@BryanEasson1) September 25, 2021
Bryan Easson’s side went behind early after Ireland prop Linda Djougang scored the first try of the game.
Scotland were gifted an opportunity to get their first points on the board after winning a penalty from a high tackle on Rachel Malcolm.
Inverness’s Helen Nelson guided the ball through the posts to make it 5-3 continuing her fine form that has seen her become a vital player throughout the qualifying campaign.
Nelson was involved in creating Scotland’s first try as she chipped to ball to Rhona Lloyd who put the Scots in front 5-8.
Lana Skeldon extended Scotland’s lead to 5-13 not long after half time, but Ireland who also had to win to ensure qualification regained the lead from two penalties and a try to make it 18-13.
Scotland looked to miss out on another World Cup, but the team rallied in the dying minutes and after a couple phases of play Chloe Rollie scored Scotland’s third try to put them level with Ireland.
The pressure fell to Sarah Law to make the conversion to keep Scotland’s World Cup dreams alive.
Law made the winning kick as Scotland claimed a famous win.
Scotland will now join Samoa, the runners up of the Asia qualifying group, and the winner of Kenya and Colombia, in a tournament to secure the final spot at the 2022 World Cup.