Ireland women smash Scotland to open Grand Slam defence

Ireland 59 Scotland 0

Ireland women smash Scotland to open Grand Slam defence

Ireland 59 Scotland 0

Ireland crushed Scotland in the opening game of their RBS Women’s 6 nations defence in Ashbourne RFC.

The clock red just four minutes when Sophie Spence collected Siobhan Fleming’s knock down and dashed into the corner making it 5-0 as Nora Stapelton missed the conversion.

Philip Doyle’s team showed their ruthlessness in the opening stages and where two tries to the good with 10 minutes on the clock through Alison Miller.

Miller went over for her first try of the night with Lyne Cantwell holding off Scotland’s Green and Nora Stapleton knocked over the conversion.

Ireland were in complete control and it was only a matter of time before they added their third try of the night.

Moving the ball across the paddock with Cantwell influential again, releasing new number eight Heather O’Brien to barge her way over, making it 22-0 after just 20 minutes.

Alison Miller was next to join the score sheet, racing half the length of the pitch, evading Scotland’s Ruth Slaven to go down in the corner.

It was a matter of how many Ireland wanted at this stage as full back Jane Shields cracked the Scots open and Cantwell added Ireland’s fourth try.

Scotland were under pressure all over the field and were no match for Ireland’s pack as Sophie Spence added her second try from a maul.

Ireland picked up where they left off after half time, Spence claiming a hat trick, Ailish Egan and Stacey-Lea Kennedy all going over within 15 minutes of the restart.

As Philip Doyle emptied his bench, Ireland’s intensity naturally waned, yet Alison Miller was a constant thorn in Scotland’s side on the wing.

Miller’s bursting run had them at sixes and sevens before Lynne Cantwell retrieved Paula Fitzpatrick’s fumble to squeeze over the line after 64 minutes.

Scotland searched for a constellation score in the game’s final quarter with both sides making full use of their replacements.

Doyle’s team held firm, showing rugged defending with 10 minutes on the clock as Niamh Briggs returned to the fray of the Irish back line.

Scotland’s maul came right with four minutes remaining, but Megan Gaffney couldn’t force her way through leaving the visitors scoreless.

Six minutes into stoppage time Claire Molloy rubbed salt into the wound, though Laura Stevens was unable to convert.

A near perfect start for Philip Doyle’s team, with the only worry over Ireland’s kicking after only converting just two of 11 tries.

Ireland Women: Sheils, Casey, Cantwell, Murphy, Miller, Stapleton, Davis, Coughlan, Lea-Kennedy, Egan, Spence, Reilly, Fleming, O’Brien, Molloy

Replacements: Hayes for Egan, Bourke for Kennedy, Fitzpatrick for Flemming, Davitt for Murphy, Briggs for Sheils.

Tries: Spence 4”, 35”, 47”, Miller 10”, 23”, O’Brien 20”, Cantwell 30”, Egan 52” Lea-Kennedy 55”, Cantwell 64” Molloy 86”

Conversations: Stapleton, Murphy

Penalities: None.

Scotland Women: Johnston, Green, Sergeant, Inglis, Gaffney, Martin, Law, Balmer, Quick, Smith, Konkel, McCormack, Forsberg, Wheeler, Slaven

Replacements: McLeod for Quick, Lockhart for Law, Dagelish for Smith (all h/t), Steven for Green, Robertson for Balmer, Griffiths for Martin,

Tries: None

Conversations: None

Penalities: None.

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