Ireland quietened the home crowd as they built steadily for a 15-7 victory over Italy in today’s crunch Rugby World Cup 2021 Europe Qualifier clash.
Tries from Beibhinn Parsons and Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe, who sped over for her third score in two games against Italy, put Ireland right back in the hunt for automatic qualification.
It is now extremely tight at the top of the table with all four teams sitting on five points. Points difference separates them, with Italy (+17) in first place, closely followed by Ireland (+7), Spain (-4) and Scotland (-20).
Scotland also rebounded from an opening round defeat, edging out Spain 27-22 in a thrilling contest. In next Saturday’s final round, Italy play Spain before Ireland renew rivalries with the Scots (kick-off 5pm Irish time).
Speaking after Ireland’s first win of the tournament, captain Ciara Griffin said: “There was pressure on us. We had a very good talk about pressure and how we use it, and how you can use pressure for your advantage and how you should take the pressure as a pleasure at times.
“We met that pressure well this week. The job is obviously not done, it’s just we’re one step closer. So, big push and massive focus this week, starting tomorrow.”