Ireland Women’s head coach Adam Griggs is looking for his side to play the game on their own terms at the Ricoh Arena tonight when they face a highly-rated England team in the final round of the Six Nations.
Despite accepting they will be underdogs at the Coventry venue, Adam Griggs believes that the Ireland Women are capable of producing a big performance as they look to bounce back from a disappointing home defeat to Scotland just five days ago.
“The biggest thing is probably putting some of the things we’ve spoken about into action. Looking at some of the other games and within camp, a lot of our messages would be the same. But when you talk about something and talk about doing it, but don’t actually do it, that’s probably where we need to make sure we’re at our best,” said the New Zealander.
“I just want to see us really give it to England and we’re certainly the underdogs in this, so we’ve got nothing to lose. We have to show that we’re better than what we were last week and more so the week before against Wales (when we won 35-12).”
The frustrating 15-12 loss to Scotland came on the back of a very encouraging bonus point success against Wales at Donnybrook. If they are to claim their third victory of the Championship, Griggs admits it will not be enough to simply match the performance levels they achieved against the Welsh.
“That Welsh performance, it’s about replicating things in that, but we’re going to have to be even better again. Because England are a different beast to Wales. They’re going to cut down our time on the ball and are going to run at us very hard.
“We’re going to have to be even better than that, but I know we can be as well. We’ve just got to make sure we take it step-by-step and try and disrupt as much as we can of them. Then push forward ourselves.”
A five-day turnaround from the Scotland game poses a number of challenges for Griggs’ squad, who had two week breaks in advance of the last two rounds. While it is not an ideal scenario for his side, the former Leinster ‘A’ scrum half does not believe Ireland’s game-plan requires any major readjustment.
“In terms of what we’re trying to do, I like a game-plan that has many layers but there’s a lot of options. You can kinda adapt to who you’re playing. It’s not about reinventing the wheel, it’s more so about taking the right decisions for the different teams. We’re not going to try and reinvent anything, we just have to make sure what we do, we do really well and of a high quality.”
For the final round of the Six Nations, Griggs has selected Hannah Tyrrell at full-back to accommodate Louise Galvin’s inclusion on the left-wing. Speaking at the team’s Maldron Hotel base beside Dublin Airport on Wednesday, Tyrrell admitted it has been a mixed campaign to date for Ireland.
“We’ve had some highs and lows in this Six Nations. The girls didn’t really get the performance they wanted in France, but we got the win with Italy. We had a really good performance against Wales. Scotland didn’t go the way we wanted, but so far under new management, I think we’re not doing too badly,” admitted Tyrrell.
“We’ve another couple of years before the World Cup comes. We’re still building. We’ve a couple of new caps come in and they’re doing quite well. We’re building and hopefully we’ll finish off on a high this weekend.”
Tyrrell and her Irish team-mates will be facing a Red Roses outfit that were also on the receiving end of a narrow loss to France last time out. If they can eliminate the errors that led to their downfall against the Scots, Tyrrell believes it will be a close encounter on the night.
“We’re looking to really fix what went wrong last weekend and put in a good performance, because indiscipline and errors cost us last week and our basic execution. I think everyone is just champing at the bit to go again and show what we actually can do.
“England will be hurting after last week’s loss to France. Hopefully the bodies are still a bit sore as well. I think they’ll be looking to make amends. Two teams coming off losses should be a really good contest.”
Tyrrell has offered great versatility to the Irish back-three in recent seasons, switching between both wings and full-back. The former Dublin Ladies Gaelic footballer is pleased to fill any number of positions on the team, even if it takes her out of her comfort zone.
“I’m happy to play whatever position they want me in. Whether that be wing or full-back. If they asked me to step into prop, I’d happily go there! Not that that’s coming any time soon! I’m happy just to be able to pull on a green jersey and give what I can to the team. Grateful to be out there,” she added.