Doyle: Scotland players hurting from "frost bite" after defeat to England

Scotland head coach Philip Doyle and captain Rachel Malcolm (Credit: Action Images via Reuters/Peter Cziborra)

Scotland boss Philip Doyle claimed some of his players had suffered with “frost bite” after playing in “awful” conditions against England in Edinburgh.

Snow poured down in the second half at BT Murrayfield as Scotland were thrashed 53-0 by a rampant Red Roses side in the Women’s Six Nations.

The match had been set to take place at the Scotstoun Stadium in Glasgow on Sunday only for extreme weather to force it to be rescheduled.

Doyle said he was proud of the way his players dealt with the disruption but admitted some of them were “really hurting” in the changing room due to the freezing conditions.

“Moving on 24 hours it was hard to mentally prepare for (this match),” Doyle said.

“They were crestfallen due to the postponement and then had to get back up for it today.

“I am very proud of them as the conditions were absolutely awful out there.

“Some girls are really hurting in there with a bit of frost bite, but we will lick our wounds and move forward.”

Scotland have finished bottom of the Championship table in seven of the past nine years including in 2019 when they lost all five matches.

Despite losing their opening two games of this year’s tournament Doyle believes Scotland are making progress - but he added: “Rome wasn’t built in a day.”

“I said from the very start that we wanted to close the gap,” said Doyle, whose side face Italy next at Stadio Giovanni Mari on Sunday, February 23.

“Yes we have lost both games but looking at the two scorelines and the performances we have definitely closed the gap.”

Tries from Sarah Bern, Jess Breach and Abby Dow saw England move 22-0 in front at half-time before stepping up another gear in the second period.

Scotland were powerless to stop the visitors as Emily Scott struck twice and Dow, Sarah Hunter and Claudia MacDonald went over in the eight-try triumph.

“Today was incredibly hard from a set-piece point of view,” Doyle said.

“Our lineout did not function at all but the way we scrummed in the first half was a real credit to ourselves and that was a big improvement.

“Rome wasn’t built in a day so I am very happy with the progress that we are making but this is a hard one to take.

“We lost 80-0 (to England) last year and it was 53-0 this year. We could have stopped a couple of tries out there.”