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Scotland lose 18-15 to Wales in Women's Rugby Union World Cup opener

Keira Bevan kept her nerve to clinch the last-gasp victory for the Welsh in Whangarei.

Scotland lose 18-15 to Wales in Women’s Rugby Union World Cup opener SNS Group

Scotland have lost their Women’s Rugby World Cup opener after a penalty on the stroke of full-time sealed a win for Wales in New Zealand.

Keira Bevan kept her nerve to clinch the last-gasp victory for the Welsh in Whangarei.

Bevan clinched the 18-15-win moments after Scotland missed their own chance to take the points.

Megan Gaffney powered over to pull the Scots level on 78 minutes but Helen Nelson missed her conversion attempt as the clock went dead.

Instead, play was re-started and after moving within range of the Scotland line, Wales earned a penalty which Bevan coolly kicked from 25 metres.

The full-time Welsh side had looked set to coast to victory after Alisha Butchers’ early try, which was bolstered by a conversion then a penalty by Elinor Snowsill.

Lana Skeldon crossed the line to halve the deficit for Scotland, but a further Welsh try from Kayleigh Powell made the score 15-5.

Scotland capitalised when Cara Hope was sin-binned on 67, with Gaffney powering over to haul back within five points, then crossing again to cue up the dramatic finale.

After the game Bevan admitted that she couldn’t watch her match winning moment.

She told the BBC: “As soon as the referee’s arm went out for a penalty, I kind of in the back of my head thought we were in kicking range,” Bevan told the BBC.

“First of all, I couldn’t look. I knew I had struck it well as soon as it left my boot. As soon as the final whistle went, I got swamped. I didn’t know whether to be happy or cry.”

Scotland’s next game will be against Australia in the early hours of Saturday morning (UK time).

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