Ireland 15 Canada 8
The Irish women’s team have defeated Canada for the first time in their history with a 15-8 victory at the Sportsground on Sunday.
It was Ireland’s first win over a team ranked in the world’s top four and their victory will give them much optimism as they head into a busy summer schedule.
Canada, this year’s World Cup hosts, were in trouble from the kick-off when Ireland forced them into conceding a line-out deep in their own half.
Only three minutes in and it was 5-0 to the hosts as second-row Caroline Mahon crashed over from a strong maul for her first ever try for her country.
A physically strong Canadian outfit struggled to deal with Ireland’s excellent continuity game but as the weather deteriorated, so too did the skill level, and both sides were guilty of succession of errors as they attempted to inject some lively attack into their play.
Canada drew level with a superb individual score from their fullback Heather Moyse. The number 15 shrugged off a number of tackles on her fantastic break and a perfectly timed chip and chase saw her scramble over the line for the visitors.
Ireland did lead at the break. Flanker Orla Brennan was this time the scorer as Ireland once again controlled the ball expertly in their opponent’s half and the back-rower charged through a gap to double her side’s advantage.
After the break Kelly McCallum reduced the gap to three with a penalty but Ireland were growing in confidence with some fantastic play from Joy Neville at the base of the scrum and some strong running from Tania Rosser, Sarahjane Belton and Patrique Kelly out wide, spurring them on.
It was Neville who made sure of the points when Rachel Boyd blocked down a McCallum kick and the ball was recycled wide to the number eight who dived over the line.
A Greensmith, Grace Davitt, L Cantwell, P Kelly, N Ni Chadhain, SJ Belton, T Rosser, F Coughlan, J Lonergan, G McAllister, C Mahon, G Healy, O Brennan, R Boyd, J Neville.
M Barrett (for G McAllister 30), J Feighery (for L Cantwell 40), J O’Sullivan (for G Davitt 40), L Beamish (for J Feighery 45)
H Moyse, B Hilditch, S Ulmer, M Gallo, J Foster, K McCallum, E Dance, L Cripps, Rl Eldridge, H McDonald, D McDonald, P Burdett, G Florence, H Jaques, E Smortchevsky.