Ireland recorded a bonus-point triumph against Wales to moved to the summit of the Women’s Six Nations Championship.
Courtesy of tries from Beibhinn Parsons, Cliodhna Moloney, and Lauren Delany, Adam Griggs’ charges established a 19-0 buffer on 34 minutes.
Although Wales had five-pointers of their own either side of an outstanding Linda Djougang contribution, a late penalty try ultimately sealed a second consecutive victory for Ireland in this year’s campaign.
Having weathered an initial siege from the visitors, a booming Eimear Considine clearance got Ireland into the Wales half for the first time. Their Celtic counterparts were less successful in terms of exiting their own 22 and Parsons capitalised on a gap inside their defence to cross the whitewash in spectacular fashion.
The Ballinasloe winger was on target in the opening round victory over the Scots when she was also joined on the scoresheet by fellow Galwegian Moloney. The Ireland hooker overcame the effects of a head injury to line-out for this contest and got on the end of an intricate attacking move for a 26th-minute try.
Considine, making a welcome return at full-back, released Delany for a clinical finish on the right-wing. They looked to increase their advantage when Welsh prop Gwenllian Pyrs was sin-binned for a high tackle on Ireland skipper Ciara Griffin.
Yet, Lauren Smyth pounced for an unconverted try on the stroke of half-time to leave the gap at 14 points (19-5). While the minds of the passionate home support were put at ease by Djougang's powerful bonus score two minutes after the restart, a resilient Wales responded immediately through influential No 8 Siwan Lillicrap.
A Robyn Wilkins bonus strike supplemented this latest touchdown to keep the Welsh in the frame for a potential comeback. However, the effects of Storm Ciara wrecked havoc for the final half-hour of the action and the Welsh attacking game suffered as a result.
By contrast, Ireland maintained their potent threat in the opposition half and a last-minute penalty try rounded off a thoroughly deserved victory for the two-time champions.
Scorers for Ireland: B Parsons, C Moloney, L Delany, L Djougang try each, Penalty try and con, C Keohane 2 cons.
Scorers for Wales: L Smyth, S Lillicrap try each, R Wilkins con.
IRELAND: E Considine; L Delany, S Naoupu, M Claffey, B Parsons; C Keohane, K Dane; L Peat, C Moloney, L Djougang; A McDermott, J Bobbett; C Griffin, E McMahon, A Caplice.
Replacements: C Cooney for McDermott (57), D Wall for Griffin (62), A Doyle for Considine (64), N Cronin for Dane (67), L Muldoon for Keohane (70), L Feely for Peat (71), AM O’Hora for Feely (80).
WALES: L Smyth; J Joyce, H Jones, K Lake, L Neumann; R Wilkins, K Bevan; G Pyrs, K Jones, C Hale; N John, G Crabb; A Butchers, M Johnes, S Lillicrap.
Replacements: C Hope for Lillicrap (36-43), B Lewis for John (h-t), A Callender for Johnes (60), P Randall for Joyce, G Evans for Butchers (both 67), Hope for Pyrs, F Lewis for Bevan (both 74), M Kelly for Jones, R Lewis for Hale (both 76).
Referee: A Barrett-Theron (South Africa).