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World Cup Qualification Delights Manager Reid

World Cup Qualification Delights Manager Reid

Ireland Women’s team manager Rachel Reid was thrilled with her troops’ 23-0 win over Scotland on Friday, a result which keeps Ireland’s Championship hopes alive and has secured their place in next year’s Women’s Rugby World Cup.

“We are delighted with the result and obviously that has secured our qualification for the World Cup,” Irish manager Rachel Reid told IrishRugby.ie.

“It takes the pressure of that off us so we can go into the match next week (against Wales) purely to win the match so we can see what we can do for the Championship.”

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Although Ireland romped to a 23-point win over the Scots, Reid says the visitors did not have it all their own way.

“Scotland fought very hard until the end and kept attacking at us and they never gave up, but we defended very well and we were quite in control right the way through.

“But it was a great team performance from us, with Niamh (Briggs) getting the player-of-the-match accolade. There was a lot of great continuity play and we were very professional throughout.”

It was a mixture of old and new faces in the Irish squad which provided the winning formula, according to their manager.

“We had two new caps for a start in Lauren Day and Helen Jones. We also had Laura Nicholl who was capped in 1998 and 1999 when she was 18-years-old and hasn’t been capped for ten years.

“We’ve had a bit more depth this year than we have had in the past which is contributing to the success on the pitch.”

A lot of the focus this week may be on the Ireland mens squad in their quest for Championship and Grand Slam success, but Reid says that she is happy the focus is away from her side as it keeps the pressure off.

“That takes pressure off us so next week is about training to play to win and play for Championship but we don’t have to worry about the World Cup qualification now.

“It’s in the bag so it’s purely about next week’s match. In its own right as a match, we want to beat Wales and there’s no two ways about it.”

Reid confessed that she did not expect such a convincing win against Scotland.

“There were two penalties first so we didn’t start scoring tries straight away. We never came into this game expecting to win by such a big margin.

“We knew we would have a tough match and it was quite a tough match. Thankfully we were able to get the tries but they didn’t come easily, we had to work quite hard for them. It wasn’t an easy win by any means.”

Looking ahead to the final game of the competition next week away to Wales, Reid reckons that the Welsh Women’s side are just as big a ‘sticky wicket’ to overcome as their male counterparts.

“They beat England this year which they have never done before. That shows the good qualities that they have.

“They haven’t a clean sheet – France beat them but that was in France. We are are playing them in Wales and they will be very hard to beat on home soil.

“England are considered the best team in the world at the moment. That shows the quality that the Welsh have, so we aren’t going in expecting to have an easy ride in that match. We are going to find it a very tough match.”