By Kaylan Geekie at Scotstoun | UWS Sport
Helen Nelson rues missed chances but believes Scotland need to be more clinical if they are to turn around defeat
The Scotland Women’s rugby team were defeated 5-10 by Spain at Scotstoun on Friday evening. Despite the narrow five-point loss Helen Nelson is happy with her side’s performance in Glasgow.
This is only the halfway point of two matches in their quest to qualify for next year’s Women’s World Cup in Ireland. Scotland dominated for large parts of the game, but only had Deborah McCormack’s 29th minute try to show for all their possession and territory.
Nelson made her debut off the bench against France at Broadwood Stadium in the 2016 Women’s Six Nations and has three caps but, this was her first start.
The stand-off had an excellent game and was the focal point for the Scots’ attack, marshalling the backline like a veteran.
“It was pretty daunting to be honest,” she added. “I’ve played a lot at centre, so 10 is a new position for me but, I’ve been enjoying it.”
Spain launched an series of sustained attacks in the second half of the match. They were held up twice by the Scots and botched a couple of tries when it looked harder not to score.
The 22-year-old praised her team’s defensive effort, they are still in the tie ahead of Saturday’s second leg in Madrid and she is confident that they can improve on Friday’s display.
She said: “The girls put in an 80 minute performance and our defence was incredible. At some points we were right on our five [metre line] and we managed to get a knock-on or turnover and clear [the ball]; overall I thought it was a positive game.
“We can get a win next week,” she continued. “It was a tense last few minutes and we know tomorrow when we look at the video, we will be kicking ourselves because we could have scored a try on several occasions.”
Nelson attributed part of her good performance to team-mate and captain Lisa Martin. “I’ve got Lisa outside me – who is really bossing it – and she is a really strong centre which makes the job easier for me.
“I think it works well because we can both distribute the ball well and having Lisa one out means we can get the ball out wider. It’s a good combination and we are both interchangeable, so it doesn’t matter because we can both pass the ball out.”