Irish women upset odds against Scots

Ireland 17 Scotland 6

Ireland 17 Scotland 6

The Irish women's rugby team have beaten Scotland for the first time ever to round-off their World Cup preparations on a high.

An extended Irish squad travelled to Edinburgh to take on a fancied Scotland side who have always come out on top in games between the two Celtic nations at Six Nations level.

Irish coach Philip Doyle made four changes from the side who had last beaten Canada way back in April.

Newcomer Munster winger Jeannette Feighery will have improved her World Cup chances, grabbing two tries against the Scots.

Feighery came off the bench in Ireland’s game against Canada for her first cap, and was injured within minutes of coming on. But this time there was no stopping the speedster, who scored two first-half tries.

Scotland took an early lead through a Paula Chalmers penalty but Feighery’s first try came after 20 minutes.

The winger secured a high ball some 60 metres out and used her speed to outpace her opposite number and race through untouched for her score. Grace Davitt missed the convertion and then a penalty while Chalmers slotted her second.

Feighery struck again before half-time to push the lead out to 10-6.

She was on the end of a break from scrum-half Tania Rosser, with fullback Joanne O’Sullivan this time failing to convert.

Scotland put Ireland under enormous pressure in the second half but the superb Irish defence held firm in the face of an assault on their line. Scrum-half Chalmers was a major threat for the Scots from the base throughout the game, as were strong Scottish centres Rimma Petlevannaya and Rhona Shepherd.

Positives for Ireland were their strong set-piece game at both line-out and scrum as well as excellent performances from Feighery and another relative newcomer Eimear O’Sullivan at number six.

Ireland’s willingness to attempt real width in their game is also good news given that their next game is their opening World Cup pool clash with one of the tournament favourites, France.

The Irish hammered home their advantage on the hour-mark when captain Sarahjane Belton broke away from the defence 30 metres out for a fine score which Davitt converted.

Philip Doyle emptied his entire eleven-player bench which had been agreed by both teams before kick-off in the non-capped clash.

Ireland will depart for the World Cup in Canada in good spirits on August 27. They face games against France, America and South Africa in their opening pool games.

Ireland: J O’Sullivan, J Feighery, L Cantwell, G Davitt, N Ni Chadhain, SJ Belton (Captain), T Rosser F Coughlan, J Lonergan, M Barrett, C Mahon, G Healy, E O’Sullivan, Rachel Boyd, Joy Neville

Replacements. O Brennan (for R Boyd 40), G McAllister (for M Barrett 58), R Foley (for G Healy 61), L Guest (for F Coghlan 72), Y Nolan (for J Lonergan 72), M Kelly (for J Feighery 78), S Houston (for G Davitt 78), S Fleming (for N Ni Chaidhain 78), L Beamish (for T Rosser 78), S Ryan (for E O’Sullivan 78).

Scotland: L Millard,C Ovenden, R Petlevannaya, R Shepherd, V Fitzpatrick, E Kerr, P Chalmers ©, L Reid, I Frickleton, G McCord, L Wheeler, S Mee, S Brown, B MacLeod, D Kennedy.

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