Rugby World Cup: Keira Bevan's 84th minute penalty help Wales edge out Scotland 18-15

Kiera Bevan's penalty made the difference for Wales
Kiera Bevan's penalty made the difference for Wales
©World Rugby

Wales 18-15 Scotland, Semenoff Stadium

Scrum-half Keira Bevan slotted a penalty goal in the 84th minute as Wales edged out Scotland 18-15 in the Rugby World Cup Pool A encounter at Semenoff Stadium in Whangarei.

This was the second time this year there was a close game involving the two teams with Wales sealing a 24-19 victory in the Six Nations competition earlier. Scotland fly-half Helen Nelson had a tough outing as she missed all her kicks while Elinor Snowsill was named the player of the game.

It took Wales just five minutes to get off the mark as Snowsill kicked to touch to set up a driving maul testing the defence of Scotland. The attack paid dividends as Alisha Butchers crashed over for the opening try and Snowsill kicked the conversion to make it 7-0.

Further indiscipline from Scotland costed them as Snowsill split the posts with a 12th minute penalty goal to extend their lead to 10-0. Scotland had a chance to open the account but Nelson's penalty in the 14th minute went wide.

Nevertheless, they opened the account in the 28th minute as Lana Skeldon crashed over at the back of a maul after Nelson kicked another penalty to touch. However, the Scottish fly-half missed the chance to add the extras as Scotland continued to trail by five points in the opening 30 minutes of the game.

With seven minutes left to the break, Wales launched another attack through Lisa Neumann, who charged down but had a knock-on. Scotland did not make use of the scrum as Wales got the possession back as Kayleigh Powell dotted down to score but Snowsill missed the conversion with the scoreline becoming 15-5.

With Nelson missing another penalty chance, Scotland continued to trail by 10 points at the end of the opening half.

Nelson's poor form continued as Wales were penalised for not holding on and Scotland missed another three-pointer. Firm defence from Wales kept Scotland at bay as they even lost Eilidh Sinclair to an arm injury.

They eventually narrowed down the gap to five points as Cara Hope was sent to sin for stepping out of the line and Rollie offloaded to Megan Gaffney for her side's second try but once again Nelson missed out on the conversion. With the momentum on their side, Scotland went on to level the scores in the 78th minute as Megan Gaffney allowed Kayleigh Powell to dot down.

Nelson had a chance to put her side on the front but another missed chance meant both the teams were unseparated with the game entering the added minutes during which Bevan kicked a three-pointer from 25 metres out to seal a thrilling win.

Team line up:

Wales XV: K Powell; J Joyce, M Webb, H Jones, L Neumann; E Snowsill, F Lewis; C Hope, C Phillips, D Rose, N John, G Evans, A Butchers, A Callender, S Harries.

Reserves: K Jones, C Thomas, C Hale, S Lillicrap, B Lewis, K Bevan, R Wilkins, L Norkett.

Scotland XV: C Rollie; R Lloyd, H Smith, L Thomson, M Gaffney; H Nelson, C Mattinson; M Wright, L Skeldon, C Belisle, E Wassell, S Bonar, R Malcolm, L Mcmillan, J Konkel-Roberts.

Reserves: J Rettie, L Bartlett, E Clarke, L O'Donnell, E Sinclair, M McDonald, M Smith, S Campbell.