Women's Rugby World Cup qualifying: Scotland women 5-10 Spain women

Scotland women
Scotland women must overturn a five-point deficit in next week's second leg if they are to reach the World Cup finals
Women's Rugby World Cup qualifying
Scotland (5) 5
Try: McCormack
Spain (10) 10
Try: Rial Con: Garcia Pen: Garcia

Scotland women were beaten by Spain in the first leg of their Women's Rugby World Cup qualifier at Scotstoun.

All the points came in the first half, with Deborah McCormack's try cancelled out by a converted Vanesa Rial score.

Shade Munro's side pounded the Spanish line for long spells in the second 40 minutes but could not make their territory count.

The decisive leg takes place in Madrid on 26 November, with a place in Pool B in next year's tournament at stake.

The victors will join holders England, the United States and Italy in the finals in Ireland.

Spain lost to Scotland in a friendly last year, but Munro claimed pre-match his side were the underdogs this time around, given the number of returning Olympic sevens athletes in the Spanish ranks.

On a wet and blustery Glasgow evening, one such Olympian - Patricia Garcia - booted Spain ahead early on with a penalty in front of the Scottish posts.

At the other end, Scotland's failure to translate long periods of phase play in the Spanish 22 to points on the scoreboard proved decisive.

McCormack's first try for her country was the sole reward for their pressure, the lock crashing over in the corner to nudge Scotland ahead.

Deborah McCormack scores for Scotland
Deborah McCormack powered over for Scotland's only try

Lana Skeldon's touchline conversion attempt fell some way short and Spain regained the lead minutes later when centre Rial took advantage of slick passing to dummy and score, Garcia converting smartly.

The visitors hammered away at the Scottish rearguard immediately after the break, puncturing the hosts' midfield with smart running lines and neat handling.

The Spaniards were adjudged to have been stopped just short of the Scottish whitewash by TMO Neil Paterson and the home defence managed to hold the ball up when Spain did force their way across the line.

Scotland full-back Chloe Rollie almost weaved her way to a wonderful try when she dummied and stepped to within a metre of the line, but the visiting defence held firm, earning a penalty and clearing their lines.

With five minutes remaining, Scotland kicked a penalty to touch at the corner, and tried to maul their way to a score-levelling try, but the Spanish pack were able to bundle them out of play.

It was merely a temporary reprieve, though, as the Scots pinched the ball back from the resultant line-out and, several phases later, it took a last-ditch tackle to heave Eilidh Sinclair into touch on the opposite flank.

Munro's side continued to labour away until the clock turned red but were made to pay for their lack of precision and ruthlessness in the Spanish 22.

Scotland: Chloe Rollie, Megan Gaffney, Lisa Thomson, Lisa Martin, Rhona Lloyd, Helen Nelson, Sarah Law; Heather Lockhart, Lana Skeldon, Tracey Balmer, Emma Wassell, Deborah McCormack, Jemma Forsyth, Louise McMillan, Karen Dunbar.

Replacements: Lucy Park, Lindsey Smith, Katie Dougan, Sarah Bonar, Rachel Malcolm, Lyndsay O'Donnell, Jenny Maxwell, Eilidh Sinclair.

Spain: Barbara Pla, Maria Casado, Vanesa Rial, Marina Bravo, Iera Echebarria, Patricia Garcia, Anne Fernandez, Isabel Rico, Aroa Gonzalez, Laura Delgado, Maria Ribera, Elena Redondo, Diana Gasso, Paula Medin, Angela del Pan.

Replacements: Saioa Jaurena, Isabel Macias, Jeanina Vinueza, Monica Castelo, Maria Losada, Irene Schiavon, Amaia Erbina, Anna Ramon.

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