Wales moved to the top of the Six Nations table after securing a 22-34 victory against Scotland at the DAM Health Stadium.
Teenager Sisilia Tuipulotu bagged her second consecutive player of the match performance with two tries but her fellow prop Gwenllian Pyrs wasn’t to be outdone as she claimed a brace as well to set up a fine victory away from home.
Wales entered the match as firm favourites but Scotland played their part in an enthralling spectacle but will come away disappointed as their efforts proved in vain.
The success was built on fast starts to both halves as Wales showed a killer touch to fend off the Scottish challenge.
The match had barely started when Georgia Evans claimed a clean lineout and the ball moved swiftly to a rampaging prop Sisilia Tuipulotu who powered over by the corner flag to give Ioan Cunningham’s side the ideal start.
Scotland then had a period of pressure close to the Welsh line but they were unable to convert it into points on the board as Welsh defence held firm. The home side didn’t do themselves any favours though as their backs appeared to be strangers as passes went astray and a lack of cohesion gave Wales plenty of tackling practise.
Making her first start of the campaign, Sioned Harries pounced to force the ball down but she was penalised for being off-side in the process to give Scotland a lucky break.
The tide began to turn as Scotland became more competitive at the breakdown and the line-out became more secure.
Scotland eventually got off the mark in the 27th minute when fly half Helen Nelson nudged over a short range penalty.
Wales immediately flooded through from the restart with Harries bursting clear and putting Keira Bevan free. The scrum half was brought down inches from the line but quick recycling saw prop Gwenllian Pyrs touch down. Bevan’s conversion gave the visitors a 3-12 lead with 10 minutes remaining of the first half.
The home crowd were uplifted when hooker Lana Skeldon was driven over from close range with a well worked line-out. Nelson added the extras to bring the score to 10-12.
On the stroke of halftime Wales were reduced to 14 players when centre Kerin Lake received a yellow card for being off-side. Scotland went for the jugular but defiant Welsh defence held the Scots at bay until the halftime whistle.
Pyrs scored her second try of the match two minutes after the restart. Wales went on the attack from the restart with Georgia Evans going close from close quarters, before Pyrs was on hand to recycle the ball and double her tally for the afternoon. With Bevan adding the extras, Wales jumped out to a 10-19 lead.
Scotland refused to go away and got back in the mix when Coreen Grant was on the end of a delicate pop pass to score next to the posts. Nelson’s conversion brought the scores to 17-19.
Tuipulotu emulated her fellow prop Pyrs when she powered over from close range to record her second try of the match to put Wales 17-24 ahead after 54mins.
Full-back Chloe Rollie brought the home side to within two points of Wales with a brilliant solo try when she left two Welsh defenders clutching thin air with a deadly strike from 22m.
Wales hammered away at the Scottish try line but the home side managed to withstand the pressure until Elinor Snowsill nudged her side further ahead with a close-range penalty. With five minutes remaining, the home side had to score a converted try to claim the honours.
Ffion Lewis wrapped up the victory when the ball popped out from a retreating Scottish scrum and she darted over to sink Scottish hopes for the second year running.