12 Dec, 14:42
Prop Cian Healy is expected to miss the start of the 2014 RBS 6 Nations after undergoing surgery on his injured ankle on Wednesday.
Ireland recorded their first win of the IRB Women's Rugby World Cup on Friday as they cut loose for a 37-0 triumph over South Africa.
2006 IRB WOMEN'S WORLD CUP: Friday, September 8
IRELAND 37 SOUTH AFRICA 0, St. Albert RFC, Edmonton
Scorers: Ireland: Tries: Joy Neville, Tania Rosser, Fiona Coghlan, Jeanette Feighery, Sarahjane Belton, Mairead Kelly; Cons: Grace Davitt, Joanne O'Sullivan; Pen: Davitt
South Africa: -
The win guarantted Ireland's place in next week's 5th-8th place play-offs. Philip Doyle's charges finished eighth in the final table, just ahead of Samoa on scoring difference, and England's 27-8 defeat of France means the Irish will face Scotland in Tuesday's play-offs (St. Albert RFC, Edmonton, kick-off 12am Irish time).
Opting to play into the wind in the first half on Friday, the Irish dominated the opening 40 minutes with centre Grace Davitt landing an early penalty.
Number eight Joy Neville, one of Ireland's stand-out players on the night, crashed over for an eight-minute try, set up by her back row colleague Orla Brennan and converted by Davitt.
And before the half was over there were also tries from scrum half Tania Rosser, prop Fiona Coghlan and winger Jeanette Feighery. The tenth seeds turned around with a 25-0 lead at the interval.
The Irish turned the screw just before Coghlan's 26th-minute try, when a series of penalties saw South African prop Louise Du Pisanie sent to the sin bin. The tireless Rosser was instrumental in creating Feighery's score as she moved the ball quickly to the flanks before retrieving it inside the South Africans' 22 and popping it to the onrushing Feighery who sprinted over with glee for the all-important bonus point try.
The South Africans had a spell of dominance at the start of the second half but could make little headway, territory wise, and a superb clearance kick from captain Sarahjane Belton, who switched to full-back for the game, gained 50-60 metres for Ireland.
Back on the front foot, the girls in green notched their fifth try when Belton ran in to the right of the posts on 58 minutes. Another Belton-inspired attack saw Cork ladies footballer Mairead Kelly touch down on her debut, and barely five minutes after coming on off the bench. Out-half Joanne O'Sullivan added the extras to crown an excellent display from Ireland.
Most pleasing for the Irish was their discipline under pressure - they did not concede a penalty until the 39th-minute, and the attacking verve of players like Davitt, Belton and Lynne Cantwell was a joy to see.
Ireland's qualification for the middle tier play-offs was aided by Spain's shock 14-12 win over Samoa.
Ireland: Sarahjane Belton (capt); Jeanette Feighery, Lynne Cantwell, Grace Davitt, Suzanne Fleming; Joanne O'Sullivan, Tania Rosser; Fiona Coghlan, Jean Lonergan, Marie Barrett, Caroline Mahon, Rosie Foley, Orla Brennan, Rachel Boyd, Joy Neville.
Replacements used: Germaine Healy for Mahon (38 mins-half-time), Healy for Foley (52), Eimear O'Sullivan for Brennan (64), Mairead Kelly for Fleming (68), Yvonne Nolan for Lonergan, Shannon Houston for Davitt (both 70), Laura Guest for Barrett (72), Nuala Ni Chadhain for Cantwell (75)
South Africa: Zandile Nojoko; Yolanda Meiring, Ingrid Botha (capt), Zolisa Noxeke, Natasha Hofmeester; Marie-Lee Erasmus, Saloma Booysen; Louise Du Pisanie, Babalwa Vena, Cebisa Kula, Dolly Mavumengwana, Wendy Adlem, Wendy Khumalo, Nadine Barnard, Mandisa Willams.
Replacements used: Ramona Brown for Adlem (28-36 mins), Namhia Siyolo for Adlem, Nomsebenzi Tsotsobe for Khumalo (both 46), Brown for Du Pisanie (56), Fundiswa Plaatjie for Booysen (59), Yolandi Marais for Vena (65), Lamla Momoti for Botha (75). Not used: Sipokazi Jonga
Referee: Clare Daniels (England)
Touch Judges: Sarah Corrigan (Australia), Christine Hanizet (France)