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Women’s Team Ease Past Spain

Women’s Team Ease Past Spain

Ireland got off to a superb start at the 2008 FIRA-AER Women’s European Championship as they crushed Spain 41-7 in Amsterdam on Saturday night. Read on for a full report.


IRELAND 41 SPAIN 7, Amsterdam

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Scorers: Ireland: Tries: Orla Brennan, Jeannette Feighery 2, Grace Davitt 2, Jo O’Sullivan, Gillian Bourke; Cons: Grace Davitt 3

Spain: Try: Barbara Pla; Con: Laura Llado

Ireland’s massive win over Spain guaranteed them a top four finish in a tournament which sees 14 teams from Europe take part across two different tiers.

Ireland are in tier A with the best teams in Europe and they now face England, the reigning Six Nations champions, in Drachten on Tuesday for a place in the elite final.

Saturday’s 41-7 success was a huge boost for the squad as they impressed hugely against their Catalan counterparts.

The Irish scored seven tries in all with Grace Davitt contributing 16 points and a strong continuity game meant that prop Fiona Coghlan’s first game as captain got off to the perfect start.

Orla Brennan was first on the scoresheet as Ireland threatened early and some good offloading saw her crash over after just two minutes.

Pacy winger Jeannette Feighery got the first of her two scores just minutes later when number 8 Joy Neville linked with scrum half Tania Rosser to put the UL Bohemians flyer through.

There were further scores before half-time from Davitt, with a strong run that ended under the posts, Feighery again and Jo O’Sullivan.

Spain touched down just before the interval. Barbara Pla’s score, converted by Laura Llado, cut Ireland’s lead to 29-7 at the turnaround.

But Ireland continued in the same vein into the second half with Davitt bursting through to score and convert after only two minutes.

With a 36-7 lead Ireland did not score again until the 80th-minute when Gillian Bourke crashed over but they had done enough to build their confidence ahead of Tuesday’s crunch clash with England, who were 80-3 winners over Sweden in their quarter-final.

Out wide Ireland were far superior to Spain. The likes of Feighery, Niamh Briggs and Davitt all impressed as the back-line cut Spain open with some excellent running lines and angles.

Up front the Irish pack played a strong offloading game and set up the perfect platform for their classy backs. Ireland coach Simon Broughton gave one new cap on the night with Leinster’s Emer McManamly making her international bow as a starter.

In the other tier A results, Wales beat Scotland 27-10 – with Ireland’s Aoife McCarthy in charge of that game – and France saw off hosts Holland by 24-3. Wales and France will meet in Leiden in Tuesday’s other semi-final.