Alison Miller leads the way in rout of Scotland

Ireland 45 Scotland 12: Alison Miller ran in a hat-trick of tries as Ireland dominated Scotland at Donnybrook yesterday to finish third in the RBS Women’s Six Nations.
Alison Miller leads the way in rout of Scotland

Miller was absent from Ireland’s first three matches of the campaign as she focused her attentions on Ireland’s bid to qualify a sevens team for the Olympics in Rio. The winger took just five minutes to open the scoring, after good work by Nora Stapleton.

“Hat-tricks are born out of the work of our forwards and other backs,” grinned Miller.

“I just have to be in the right place at the right time and appreciate the good balls that I get from the forwards and the other backs who are putting me in that position.”

While Miller was on form captain Niamh Briggs left her kicking boots at home, converting just one of eight tries the hosts ran in. Briggs however played key roles in Ireland’s attacking play throughout, having been restored to full-back, having played at centre against Italy last Sunday. She set up Liz Burke and Ciara Griffin for the next two tries before her penalty on 29 minutes made it 20-0. Three minutes later Ireland pressed for a fourth try down the right side, quick thinking out-half Nora Stapleton found Briggs with a neat kick pass and it was an easy finish for the Waterford woman.

The Scots caught Ireland out from the restart as scrum-half Jenny Maxwell found space behind the defence and waltzed in for the try, which Lana Skeldon converted.

Ireland chased a fifth try before the interval but were nearly undone as Lisa Thomson raced clear. But Miller showed her defensive prowess to keep the Irish line intact as the hosts led 25-7 at break.

Two minutes after the restart Miller was back on the scoresheet — flying down the left wing and evading the despairing tackle of Sarah Law before touching down.

Briggs found the corner on 50 minutes after sustained Irish pressure, with Miller completing her hat-trick 13 minutes later.

Second half replacement Sophie Spence barged over for Ireland’s eighth try with five minutes remaining.

Rhonda Lloyd grabbed a last minute try for the visitors and with Lisa Martin missing the conversion, Ireland ran out 33-point winners to finish in third place as Italy defeated Wales 16-12 in Port Talbot.

IRELAND:

Briggs (Munster), Burke (Munster), McLaughlin (Ulster), Naoupu (Connacht), Miller (Connacht), Stapleton (Leinster), Muldoon (Skewen), O’Reilly (Connacht), Grattage (Munster), Egan (Leinster), Anthony (Munster), Cooney (Leinster), Griffin (Munster), Molloy (Bristol), Fitzpatrick (Leinster)

Replacements:

Healy (Connacht) for Muldoon (51), Moloney Leinster) for Grattage (51), Spence (Leinster) for Fitzpatrick (58), Fitzsimons (Leinster) for Anthony (58), Flood (Leinster) for Stapleton (64), Donnelly (Leinster) for Miller, Hayes (Munster) for O’Reilly and Reidy (Munster) for Egan (All 71).

SCOTLAND:

Rollie, Gaffney, Thomson, Martin, Lloyd, Law, Maxwell, Lockhart, Skeldon, Smith, Wassell, McCormack, Forsyth, Dunbar, Knokel.

Replacements:

Nelson for Law (HT), Balmer for Lockhart (HT), Sinclair for Rollie (67), Harris for Gaffney (67), Robertson for McCormack (69), Sim for Wassell (77), Stodter for Forsyth (77), Quick for Lockhart (77).

Referee:

S Trumbull (Canada).

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