Tom Tierney: Ireland can bounce back and finish on a high note

Ireland Women 7 Canada Women 48: Ireland head coach Tom Tierney hailed Canada as the one of the favourites for the 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup after his side slumped to a 48-7 defeat to the Canucks at the UCD Bowl on Saturday.
Tom Tierney: Ireland can bounce back and finish on a high note

Francois Ratier’s impressive outfit ran in seven tries in this one-sided November Test but Tierney is aware of Ireland’s need to test themselves against quality opposition.

Tierney said: “It was a very tough day at the office, but at the same time, that’s exactly the type of test we were looking for. Canada are very, very good. They are absolutely going to be one of the favourites in the World Cup in nine months time. It’s great to actually have a taste of exactly what it’s all about at that level, instead of finding out at the wrong time — in the World Cup.”

Six days on from their narrow reversal at the hands of England in the same venue, Tierney handed international debuts to Nichola Fryday and UL Bohemian flanker Anna Caplice.

However, it was Canada who enjoyed the better of the opening exchanges, as lock LoToya Blackwood broke the deadlock with a well-worked seventh-minute try. Indeed, in addition to five points from the boot of inside centre Andrea Burk, converted five-pointers from full-back Jullianne Zussman and Karen Paquin helped the visitors to establish a 24-0 interval cushion.

A seven-point salvo by out-half Nikki Caughey offered Ireland a glimmer of hope after the restart, but Canada reaffirmed their superiority with a breakaway Emily Belchos try. With former Dublin Ladies GAA star Lindsay Peat consigned to the sin-bin in the 57th-minute, Ireland leaked further scores to Kayla Mack and Magali Harvey, before the rampant Canadians completed the rout with a second Zussman try.

Ireland will return to UCD on Sunday for their final game of 2017 (against New Zealand) and Tierney is confident his players will be able to bounce back from this comprehensive loss. “We’ll never be defined by one performance or anything like that. We’ll dust ourselves off. The girls are disappointed inside, but know where [they went wrong]. We’ll knuckle down, and hopefully put in a big performance against New Zealand next week, and hopefully finish the series on a high,” Tierney added.

Scorers for Ireland:

N Caughey try, con.

Scorers for Canada:

J Zussman 2 tries, L Blackwood, K Paquin, E Belchos, K Mack, M Harvey try each, A Burk pen, 5 cons.

IRELAND WOMEN:

M Coyne; N Kavanagh, N Fowley, S Naoupu, A Miller; N Caughey, M Healy; F Hayes, Z Grattage, F Reidy; K Norris, N Fryday; C Cooney, A Caplice, P Fitzpatrick.

Replacements:

J Shiels for Coyne (33), L Lyons for Grattage, L Peat for Hayes, A Egan for Reidy, E Anthony for Norris, L Muldoon for Healy (all h-t), C McLaughlin for Fowley (42), Hayes for Caplice (63), C Pearse for Fitzpatrick (64), Lyons for Hayes (67).

CANADA WOMEN:

J Zussman; E Alarie, A Tessier, A Burk, M Harvey; E Belchos, C Guthrie; C McEwen, L Russell, D Menin; L Blackwood, K Mack; J Grusnick, K Paquin, K Russell.

Replacements:

T Beukeboom for Blackwood (50), M Higgs for Belchos (55), B Mervin for Paquin (61), B Waters for Tessier, B Miller for Guthrie (both 65), O DeMerchant for McEwen, G Boag for L Russell, D Stamatakis for Menin (all 70).

Referee:

M LeMatte (France).

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rugbyirelandplace: ucd bowlplace: franceperson: tom tierneyperson: francois ratierperson: tierneyperson: nichola frydayperson: anna capliceperson: lotoya blackwoodperson: andrea burkperson: jullianne zussmanperson: karen paquinperson: nikki caugheyperson: emily belchosperson: lindsay peatperson: kayla mackperson: magali harveyperson: canadiansperson: zussmanperson: n caugheyperson: j zussmanperson: l blackwoodperson: k paquinperson: e belchosperson: k mackperson: m harveyperson: a burk penperson: ireland womenperson: m coyneperson: n kavanaghperson: n fowleyperson: s naoupuperson: a millerperson: m healyperson: f hayesperson: z grattageperson: f reidyperson: k norrisperson: n frydayperson: c cooneyperson: a capliceperson: p fitzpatrickperson: j shielsperson: coyneperson: l lyonsperson: grattageperson: l peatperson: hayesperson: aperson: eganperson: reidyperson: e anthonyperson: norrisperson: l muldoonperson: healyperson: c mclaughlinperson: fowleyperson: capliceperson: c pearseperson: fitzpatrickperson: lyonsperson: canada womenperson: e alarieperson: a tessierperson: a burkperson: c guthrieperson: c mcewenperson: l russellperson: d meninperson: j grusnickperson: k russellperson: t beukeboomperson: blackwoodperson: m higgsperson: belchosperson: b mervinperson: paquinperson: b watersperson: tessierperson: b millerperson: guthrieperson: o demerchantperson: mcewenperson: g boagperson: d stamatakisperson: meninperson: m lematteevent: 2017 women’sevent: rugby world cupevent: world cuporganisation: irelandorganisation: canucksorganisation: canadaorganisation: englandorganisation: dublin ladiesorganisation: ucdorganisation: new zealand
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