The Ireland Women’s team got their Six Nations campaign back on track at Templeville Road on Friday as they ground out a solid 13-3 victory over Scotland.
2008 RBS WOMEN’S SIX NATIONS: Friday, February 22
IRELAND WOMEN 13 SCOTLAND WOMEN 3, Templeville Road, St. Mary’s College RFC
Scorers: Ireland: Tries: Jo O’Sullivan, Sarahjane Belton; Pen: Grace Davitt
Scotland: Pen: Sarah Gill
The girls in green are now just one win away from their best ever Six Nations finish and John O’Sullivan’s charges look forward to the visit of Wales to Dublin in their next outing.
This was Ireland’s first win under floodlights this season at their favoured venue of St. Mary’s College RFC. And just like in their opening weekend success here against Italy, it was in the second half that Ireland really sparked into life.
Scotland played with the aid of a stiff breeze in the opening half and after a number of attacks, the visitors registered the game’s first score with a penalty under the posts which Sarah Gill knocked over.
These points brought to an end 30 minutes of exhausting play in the centre of the pitch with neither team able to make the breakthrough.
Before the close of the half though Ireland had their riposte when out-half Jo O’Sullivan’s line break and determined sprint saw her burst through the defence to dot down and give her team the lead.
After the break, Ireland dominated play and forced a penalty which was converted by Grace Davitt within five minutes of the turnaround. Ireland remained on the attack for the remainder of the match with back row Orla Brennan catching the eye as her side pressed hard for more scores.
Once again a fine pack effort helped Ireland gain crucial territory and it was at the end of one strong burst from the forwards that skipper Sarahjane Belton latched onto the ball to dive over the line and secure the win with ten minutes to go.
Ireland now just need to beat Wales when they visit in the next game (on Friday, March 7) to assure themselves of their best ever placing in this competition.
With two wins from three so far this year there will be plenty of motivation in the camp. England play France tomorrow with the winners likely to be crowned the eventual Six Nations champions for 2008.
IRELAND WOMEN: Sarahjane Belton (capt); Lynne Cantwell, Patrique Kelly, Shannon Houston, Grace Davitt; Jo O’Sullivan, Tania Rosser; Fiona Coghlan, Jess Limbert, Marie Barrett, Caroline Mahon, Germaine Healy, Eimear O’Sullivan, Sinead Ryan, Orla Brennan.
Replacements used: Louise Austin for O’Sullivan (69 mins), Amy Davis for Davitt, Louise Beamish for Rosser (both 74), Gillian Bourke for Barrett, Kate O’Loughlin for E O’Sullivan (both 77), Niamh Briggs for Belton, Yvonne Nolan for Ryan (both 79).
SCOTLAND WOMEN: Lynsey Douglas; Hazel Bielinski, Veronica Fitzpatrick, Suzi Newton, Cara D’Silva; Louise Dalgleish, Sarah Gill; Heather Lockhart, Sarah Louise Walker, Beth Dickens, Jilly McCord (capt), Lindsay Wheeler, Lana Blyth, Louise Moffat, Lynne Reid.
Replacements used: Joan Hutchinson for Lockhart, Mary Lafaika for Dickens, Tanya Griffith for Bielinski (all 51 mins), Keri Holdsworth for Moffat (75), Laura Steven for Dalgleish (77). Not used: Alex Pratt, Julie Sanaghan.
Referee: Sabine Darrieux (France)