French will provide far tougher opposition, warns Ireland boss Adam Griggs

French will provide far tougher opposition, warns Ireland boss Adam Griggs

BURSTING PAST: Ireland’s Beibhinn Parsons goes past Wales’ Elinor Snowsill in Saturday’s Women’s Six Nations Championship match at Cardiff Arms Park. Picture:Inpho/Robbie Stephenson

Adam Griggs insists his Ireland women’s side will have to improve significantly to beat France, despite annihilating Wales 45-0 in Cardiff.

Ireland might have run riot in the Welsh capital, scoring seven tries in the process, but they faced very little resistance throughout the game, making it difficult to gauge how good they really are.

And with France’s semi-professional status, Griggs believes Ireland will have to go up the gears to have any chance next weekend.

“I don’t think we’ll be afforded the same amount of time next week,” said Griggs.

“They are a big physical team. They like to get in your face and put you under pressure from a physical point of view, so we know we are going to have to be ready for that.

“They get up off the line hard and that’s something we weren’t really tested on against Wales where we had a lot of time to play with the ball in our hands.

“For us, we need to stick together as a XV.

“We are much better as a collective rather than going individually.”

Despite not having played a test match for over a year, Ireland came out of the blocks firing, with Eimear Considine the first to score before teenage sensation Beibhinn Parsons crossed for two tries in the space of four minutes. Her first was an early contender for try of the championship, when she brushed off Robyn Wilkins before running in unopposed from 50 metres out.

Quite frankly, Wales had no defence as Ireland players eased their way through what some would call an attempt at tackling.

And full-back Eimear Considine effectively jogged past five Welsh defenders before turning inside to score their third, which put her side 24-0 up after a mere 20 minutes.

Powerful inside centre Sene Naoupu scored their fifth try as she crashed over from short range before Lindsay Peat had a try disallowed meaning the visitors led 31-0 lead at the interval.

Wales were far more resilient in the second-half and it took Ireland until the final quarter of the game to break them down. Ireland blindside Dorothy Wall knocked the wind out of Wales’ sails as she powered over at the corner, with Tyrrell adding the extras.

And Tyrrell scampered over for Ireland in the last play of the game to rub further salt into Wales’ wounds in Cardiff.

Griggs was especially impressed with Wall’s performance.

“She’s only going to get better,” said Griggs.

“She is one of the players we’ve seen around defence where she hits hard, and finishes tackles off. That’s something for us that’s a real positive. When you add in the back-row combination, they all offer something different.

“On the other side of the ball she carries hard as well. There are a couple of subtleties to her game that she can improve on, around her handling and the option of when to give the passes, but there’s no doubt about her potential. I think the more she plays, the more confidence she’ll have.”

Scorers for Ireland: Tries: E Considine 3, B Parsons 11, 15, E Considine 18, S Naupou 28, D Wall 73, H Tyrrell 80 Conversions: H Tyrrell 12, 19, 29, 73, 81

WALES: R Wilkins (N Terry 41); L Neumann, H Jones, K Lake, C Keight (C Lewis 33); E Snowsill, J Roberts (M Davies 29); C Hope (C Thomas 41), K Jones (M Kelly 40), C Hale (D Rose 41), N John (T W Davies 56), G Crabb, G Evans, M Johnes (B Dainton 56), S Lillicrap.

IRELAND: E Considine (E Breen 63); L Delany (S Flood 54), E Higgins, S Naoupu, B Parsons; H Tyrrell, K Dane (H O’Connor 63); L Peat (K O’Dwyer 59), C Moloney (L Feely 64), L Djougang (N Jones 64), A McDermott, D Wall (B Hogan 59), C Molloy, C Griffin (E Lane 63).

Referee: Hollie Davidson (SRU).

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