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Bemand And Dalton Pleased With Physicality In Defence

Lina Queyroi tackles Aoife Dalton 23/3/2024

2024 Guinness Women's Six Nations Championship Round 1, Stade Marie-Marvingt, Le Mans, France 23/3/2024 France vs Ireland France's Lina Queyroi tackles Aoife Dalton of Ireland Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Ben Brady

Ireland’s efforts against France in the opening round of the Guinness Women’s Six Nations have set a tone for the rest of the Championship with plenty of positive signs of the ‘identity’ that Head Coach Scott Bemand and the squad are working to establish.

Speaking after the match Bemand expressed his pride in what the team had shown, “”I’m really proud of the effort. We know that anybody in our wider squad will defend this Irish shirt with everything they’ve got.

The Head Coach was also realistic in his assessment of this step along the road, “Coming here was always going to be a big ask that we were really realistic about. What we wanted to see was to start to bed a couple of things in. We said that we’ve got to be hard to beat.

“Some of those French tries, and they scored some good ones out there, we’ve actually made them work for it.”

Bemand acknowledged that the Ireland set-piece had “creaked a few times but we can tidy that up”.

“The more confident we get, the more technically competent we will become. Next week, we welcome Italy to our shores and hopefully we can sort that out and fire more shots.”

Try scorer Aoife Dalton spoke after the match about Ireland’s defensive effort which saw just 17 missed tackles.

“Compared to last year, our physicality has gone through the roof, it’s something we pride ourselves on, we even shocked ourselves with how physical we could be and then our scramble ‘D’ worked really well at times.

“I don’t think they ever got around us, which is something we can pride ourselves on. Dec (new Defense Coach Declan Danaher) has developed a love for defending because the reality for this game, especially, was that we would have been defending for the majority of it.”