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High Standards On Show At Girls U-18 Interpro Blitz

High Standards On Show At Girls U-18 Interpro Blitz

While Munster may have taken the senior Interprovincial title earlier this season, it was Leinster and Ulster who proved strongest in the Girls U-18 Interprovincial Development Blitz in Lucan last Saturday.


The Development Blitz saw all four provinces come together for a brilliant day’s rugby at Westmanstown RFC in Lucan. The blustery conditions failed to deter the teams’ impressive performances all round.

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After two minutes’ play it was clear that these young sides were out to prove a point. The standard of rugby on offer surpassed everyone’s expectations, including Ireland Women’s Sevens head coach Jon Skurr.

“It can never be underestimated the importance of these Under-18 games 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 15-a-side and Sevens teams in time,” he said.

“Year on year the standard of decision making, balls skills, awareness of space and the set piece is improving and this season was no different. It was a joy to watch the blitz day in Westmanstown.”

The first games of the day saw Leinster take on Munster and Connacht clashed with Ulster. All of the teams boasted numerous players who were recently part of the Ireland Girls Sevens squads that travelled to Manchester for the UK School Games and Sweden for the FIRA/AER Under-18 European Sevens tournament.

Leinster were too strong for Munster on this occasion and emerged as 10-5 winners in a fiercely competitive match. Leinster half-backs Stacey Flood (pictured below) and Molly Scuffil McCabe both crossed the whitewash. Jayne Pennefather, who captained the Ireland U-18 Girls in their recent competitions, registered Munster’s only score.

In the other round 1 game, Ulster and Connacht gave a masterclass of try-scoring. Ulster’s Claire Boles crossed the line twice while Maire Hanrahan also got on the scoresheet with a well-taken try. Erin Caughey added two conversions as they outscored Connacht 19-15 in the end.

Connacht were unlucky not to finish off a fourth try and take the lead, but Ulster’s skill of tackling low and bringing the player to the ground kept the westerners at bay.

In the second round of matches, Munster and Ulster took to the field in a highly competitive encounter. Ulster took the lead through a neat try by Neve Jones.

As the Munster side tried to muster the levelling score, Ulster survived attack after attack and showed their grit in defence to win 5-0. Indeed, it was a first win for the Ulster U-18 girls over their Munster rivals.

In the other round 2 tie, Leinster and Connacht showed off their skills in front of a large crowd. It was great to see that a number of Ireland Women’s World Cup stars and Sevens internationals took time out of their busy schedules to support the young teams.

Connacht put their eastern rivals under lots of pressure in the opening ten minutes before Hannah Rose Buckley of Wicklow RFC burst through the defence to score. The try was converted by Naas RFC’s Millie Sheridan (pictured above).

Leinster maintained their dominance and skillful passing mixed with direct running meant they notched up another three tries to win 22-0. Hannah Rose Buckley (2), Daisy Earle and Rosie Newton all touched down.

Thanks to Westmanstown RFC and Leinster Women’s Chairperson, Lorna O’Connor, for their help on the day.