Home Cheap jerseys Disappointment for Ireland as late Wales push ushers in new era on losing start

Disappointment for Ireland as late Wales push ushers in new era on losing start


A sun-drenched RDS provided the perfect setting for the dawn of a new era for women’s rugby in this country, and even if Ireland failed there was every reason to be optimistic that the future may hold for us.

After leading for most of the match, in the end the powerhouse of Wales declared as they scored three late tries to break the hearts of the Irish.

In the build-up, Greg McWilliams explained he wanted his new team to play entertaining rugby that supporters could be proud of, and while it wasn’t perfect a record crowd of 6,113 were treated to rugby exciting.

It was an encouraging first outing initially, as Ireland’s skill level was unrecognizable from last year’s mess.

Knowing they were up against a bigger field, Ireland looked to shift the point of attack and they took great joy in the expansive approach.

France will bring even more physicality next week, but for now McWilliams and his players will miss whoever got away.

The forwards, led by the exceptional Linda Djougang, worked hard, while adding more subtle touches in their attempts to play a high-paced game.

When she returned to the international scene, Dorothy Wall was a wrecking ball, as her pace and power regularly put Ireland in the spotlight. Nicole Cronin and Stacey Flood got along well, as Eve Higgins on the outside was excellent.

Ireland’s discipline has been an issue throughout and after coughing up a few cheap penalties it hampered their initial momentum.

As she has done throughout, Neve Jones set the tone in defence, as the Irish hooker hammered down the line, smashing the red shirts inside out, her teammates visibly feeding off that contagious energy.

Ireland have gained confidence and with a more fluid form of attack we have seen the value of playing with double game players.

Higgins made the initial break and as the Welsh defense rushed to recover, Ireland remained patient until Flood pulled the trigger. Spotting Murphy Crowe in space, Flood sent a fine pass to the winger, who still had a lot of work to do.

But as she so often proved on the Sevens stage, Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe knows her way to the try line, and the winger showed her class to score the opening try. Cronin converted brilliantly from wide on the touchline to give Ireland a deserved 7-0 lead.

However, Wales quickly fought back. The visitors went to the maul after a five-yard lineout and after Ireland opted to challenge in the air they weren’t ready for the maul, as Carys Phillips pointed out. Elinor Snowsill was unable to level things.

To Ireland’s credit, they responded with flying colors. Nichola Fryday punched a hole in the defense and with Sam Monaghan following it up with another big carry, the Irish lock then produced a moment of pure class, as his sensational offload found the pressed Djougang, who didn’t was never going to be stopped from close range. .

Cronin had a much easier task of converting this time around as Ireland took a 14-5 lead at the break.

Wales looked much more adept in attack after the restart and they went close twice before their pressure was finally revealed when Jasmine Joyce scored wide to bring it within a four-point game.

The crowd rose when Beibhinn Parsons came off the bench in the 54th minute and they quickly got to their feet when Ireland scored for their third try, against the run of play.

After forcing their way out of their own half and into the Welshman 22 for the first time in the second half, McWilliams’ side showed their clinical advantage. Flood linked up brilliantly with Eimear Considine, who timed his return pass to perfection, as Flood finished well.

Wales’ maul was a real weapon and although Ireland had done well to fend off their power in previous attempts, they couldn’t stop Donna Rose from scoring.

Trailing 19-15 with 15 minutes remaining, Wales’ task was made easier when Ireland were forced to finish the game with 14 players, while Eimear Considine was harshly sent to the trash.

Ireland were hanging on for life, and their resistance was finally broken when Rose nailed the bonus points try and Robyn Wilkins added the extras to put her team ahead for the first time.

Hannah Jones rubbed salt into the wounds with a fifth try in the closing stages as Wales missed out on the winners with a scoreline that failed to reflect Ireland’s efforts.

Scorers – Ireland: Murphy Crowe, Djougang, Flood 1 try each, Cronin 2 tries. Wales: Rose 2 tries, Phillips, Joyce, Jones 1 try each, Wilkins 1 con.

IRELAND – E Considine; AL Murphy Crowe (B Parsons 54), E Higgins, S Flood, L Mulhall (E Breen 63); N Cronin, A Reilly (K Dane 59); L Djougang, N Jones, K O’Dwyer (C Pearse 54); N Fryday (captain) (H O’Connor 79), S Monaghan; D Wall, E McMahon, B Hogan (A McGann 62).

WALES – K Powell; L Neumann, H Jones, K Lake, J Joyce; E Snowsill (R Wilkins 70), K Bevan (F Lewis, 55); G Pyrs (C Hope 55), C Phillips (K Jones 52), C Hale (D Rose 62); N John (S Harries 52), G Crabb; A Butchers, A Calendar (B Lewis 62), S Lillicrap (capt).

REF – K Roche (USA)