Emma Hooban insists things are “starting to click” for the Ireland women’s side despite their 7-51 Six Nations defeat to England on Friday night.
The St Mary’s College hooker reasoned: “I know the score [in the England game] says a lot on the weekend, but we didn’t lie down at any stage. We kept trying to fight and fight and fight. That showed that there’s a great passion and a great heart amongst the girls.
“We’re still building and we are a young team but we’ve been training very hard. Things are starting to click between us. There’s a lot to come from this team and you’ll hopefully see it now over the next couple of games.”
The first of those matches comes away to Scotland on Friday night (Scotstoun Stadium, 7.35pm, RTÉ Two) and Hooban — who hopes to win her fourth cap against the Scots — said the squad have been working hard to correct the errors which cost them so dearly in Donnybrook.
“We weren’t so happy with how we performed in the line-outs against England. That’s a big area we’re going to have to up for this weekend.
“Our scrum was very dominant, so we’ll bring that as a positive impact into training this week. It was a tough loss to swallow, but there’s no point dwelling on the past. We’re building for the Scotland game. The culture is very good.
“We’re taking our lessons and we’re hoping to put them into practice on Friday night.”
In her third season at St Mary’s, Hooban previously lined out at underage level with her native Portlaoise. During her formative years at the club, she was coached by future Grand Slam winner (and current international teammate) Alison Miller.
“I started when I was around seven or eight. They had the boys team and I played with them for two or three years.
“Then Ali was involved with setting up the first women’s underage team in the club. I got involved that way and have been playing ever since.
“She was involved whenever she had time available because of the commitment with Ireland. But a lot of the senior girls in Portlaoise gave a good dig out. Then my dad and a man called Mark Roberts took over when I was about 15 or 16 and they coached us then for the rest of our U18s.
“It’s mad, she [Miller] kept on saying ‘God, I never thought we’d play in the same team together’. She’s kind of like my OAP!”