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Lana Skeldon scores brace of tries as Scotland get better of South Africa

By PA
Sanelisiwe Charlie of South Africa is tackled by Lana Skeldon of Scotland during the WXV 2 2023 match between Scotland and South Africa at The Danie Craven Stadium on October 13, 2023 in Stellenbosch, South Africa. (Photo by Johan Rynners - World Rugby/World Rugby via Getty Images)

Lana Skeldon scored two first-half tries as Scotland beat South Africa 31-17 in their opening match of the inaugural WXV tournament in Stellenbosch.

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Worcester hooker Skeldon powered over twice in the space of six minutes before half-time to give her side a 17-10 interval lead at the Danie Craven Stadium.

Libbie Janse van Rensburg’s early penalty and Aseza Hele’s converted touchdown had put South Africa 10-5 up after Scotland number eight Evie Gallagher had scored the game’s opening try.

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Scotland prop Leah Bartlett’s converted score 10 minutes into the second period put her side 24-10 ahead and although South Africa reduced the deficit through Roseline Botes’ converted try, the Scots finished strongly.

GB 7’s centre Lisa Thomson went over for the game’s seventh and final try, with Meryl Smith adding her second successful conversion, to seal victory for Bryan Easson’s side.

Eighteen teams are taking part in the new three-tier WXV competition, with the top six, including England and Wales, to compete in WXV 1 in New Zealand on October 21 and 28 and November 4.

The next six nations, featuring Scotland and Ireland, are contesting WXV 2 in South Africa on October 13, 14, 21 and 28 and WXV 3 is being held across the same dates in Dubai.

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J
Jon 27 minutes ago
How Maro Itoje terrorised the All Blacks lineout

Yeah England were much smarter, they put their much vaster experience to use in both the scrum (bending/not taking hit) and lineout (Itoje early sacks) law vagaries. Really though, I know what is there, I’m more worried about Englands locks. We only got to see Itoje and Martin, right? Depth allround in the England camp was probably the difference in the series and the drop off when Itoje reached his minutes limit for the season (it was like the plug was pulled from the charger) was up there with keeping Sexton on the park in that quarter final. What happened there? You have a lot of watching hours experience with locks come blindsides Nick, especially with a typical Australian player make up, have you see a six the size of Barrett absolutely dominate the position and his opposition? I can easily see Scott, and even Martin for that matter, moving to the blindside and playing like Tadgh Beirne with the amount of top locks we have coming through to partner Patrick. Still with the English mindset, because despite running the best All Black team I’ve seen in a long time close, they do need to find improvement, and although I thought they had a lot of good performances from their 7’s (over the years), I really like the prospect of Cunningham-South in his 8 spot and Earl on the open. Can you see Martin as mobile enough to take over Lawes? I absolutely loved his aggression when Jordie ran upto him to try and grab the ball. That alone is enough reason for me to try him there.

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