Over the past few weekends, the Under-18 Girls provincial teams have faced off and showed the future is bright for the Women’s game in Ireland.
At the first weekend of the Under-18 Provincial Blitz hosted at Westmanstown-Garda RFC, Ireland Women’s head coach Philip Doyle commented: “It can never be under estimated the importance of these Under-18 blitzes each year.
“What these girls are learning about the game at such a young age is paramount for their development for the future when hopefully they push though to their senior sides and of course onto the national side in time.
“Year on year the standard of decision-making, awareness of space and the set piece is improving and this season was no different.”
In the first round of games Leinster beat Connacht 19-0 and Munster defeated Ulster 14-5. Connacht found their form in the second round of matches with a Mairead Hopkins hat-trick propelling the westerners to a 22-5 win over Ulster.
Leinster secured a second victory, emerging as the 3-0 winners over Munster in a hard-fought clash.
Week 2 saw Munster travel to Connacht where the home side started the stronger and entered the break with a 12-7 lead. Munster fought back to secure a well-deserved draw, but will rue a missed conversion at the end which could have sealed the victory.
Ulster played host to an unbeaten Leinster side determined to keep their 100% record intact.
Leinster’s Niamh Byrne scored the opening try of the game in the second half, only for Ulster’s Zoe Cooke to touch down for the home side. The deciding score came from Leinster out-half Stacy Flood who spotted a gap and darted over the try-line.