Despite scoring two early tries to speed into a 10-3 lead, Ireland’s Women’s side came a cropper at home to Wales on Friday night as the visitors, with Non Evans kicking 14 points, finished strongly to secure their third straight win in the championship.
2008 RBS WOMEN’S SIX NATIONS: Friday, March 7
IRELAND WOMEN 10 WALES WOMEN 19, St. Mary’s College RFC, Templeville Road
Scorers: Ireland: Tries: Marie Barrett, Joy Neville
Wales: Try: Louise Rickard; Con: Non Evans; Pens: Non Evans 3
The home team got off to a flying start with a brace of tries and as they led 10-3 things looked good for the Irish, who were looking for a third home win of the tournament after victories over Scotland and England.
Ireland crashed over for their first try after just 14 minutes when prop Marie Barrett rose last after some strong pack play led again by the in-form Geri Healy. The try gave Ireland a 5-3 lead, after Wales full-back Non Evans had kicked an early penalty.
Once again Ireland put the pressure on up front as the half wore on and some hard driving yielded another try, this time from number 8 Joy Neville who was returning to the side after a recent knee injury.
Wales clawed back into the game with two more penalties from the reliable Evans and her side then took a crucial lead before the break after winger Louise Rickard raced over for a converted try. The Welsh led 16-10 at the interval.
Another Evans penalty in the second half made the game safe for the visitors who now face France next weekend where they will be hoping to nab second spot.
England look certain to repeat their title-winning finish of last year after they hammered Scotland on Saturday. They host Ireland next weekend in Sunbury where they will be chasing a second successive Grand Slam.