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Impact Of New Caps Pleases Tierney

Impact Of New Caps Pleases Tierney

Ireland Women’s head coach Tom Tierney admitted that his side were lucky to head back home from Scotland with a win under their belts after a last-gasp 22-15 victory in their Six Nations opener on Friday night.

With the clock running down and past 80 minutes at Broadwood Stadium in Cumbernauld, the sides were tied at 15-all and Scotland, who have not won or drawn in the Championship since 2010, looked set to record a famous result.
However, this Ireland team is made of stern stuff and they kept going until centre Jenny Murphy crashed over for the winning try and out-half Nora Stapleton, who provided the scoring pass, converted from straight in front of the posts.
The well-constructed score also gave the girls in green a try-scoring bonus point – newly introduced for this year’s Six Nations – but Tom Tierney admitted: “We are lucky to have come out of this with a win.

“Fair play to Scotland they came at us as we knew they would do, and under head coach Shade Munro they have made some big improvements, but at times we didn’t help ourselves.

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“The (wet and windy) conditions were quite tricky, but we had to try and look after the ball better in the first half and we gifted them quite a bit of territory.

“We were 15-10 down at the break and the girls knew at half-time they had to improve and credit to them they did that.

“The team managed to score a good try (through Lindsay Peat) and then things were tied at 15-15 for quite some time, but they keep plugging away and to come away with a bonus point and a win was very pleasing given the way things had gone.

“The team know that we have a lot to work on now ahead of the match in Italy next weekend and one thing that really did please me was the impact the newer players to this level made off the bench.”

There were five debuts on the night for the Ireland Women, with all-new front row of Ilse van Staden, Jennie Finlay and Ciara O’Connor closing out the game together. Railway Union’s Ailsa Hughes won her first cap as the starting scrum half and Eimear Considine, already capped as a Sevens international, made her bow on the wing as a half-time replacement.

Meanwhile, number 8 Paula Fitzpatrick, who captained Ireland in the absence of Niamh Briggs, feels that a lack discipline and poor work at the breakdown almost cost her side against the ever-improving Scots.
“We kept giving Scotland field possession by our own errors and that meant that we couldn’t get the foothold in the match that we wanted in the first half,” said the St. Mary’s back rower.
“I know it is the first match of the tournament, but our breakdown work wasn’t good enough. On the flip side of all of that Scotland threw a lot at us, but in the last 20 minutes we kept our composure and to get an away win while scoring four tries is not easy in any competition.”