Shade Munro’s Scotland Women’s side gave their all in a cracker against Canada but were just edged out 28-25 in a breathless encounter at Scotsoun.
Irish Women Make Two Changes for Wales
Ireland’s Women’s team have altered their team slightly for their trip to Wales
After losing to France last weekend, Ireland are looking to finish on a high with a possibility of finishing third in the table.
Lindsay Peat makes her first start of the tournament in place of Laura Feely who is on the bench, while the other change sees 17-year-old Beibhinn Parsons start on the wing ahead of the injured Alison Miller.
Alongside Peat in the front-row are Deirbhile Nic a Bhaird, who gets another chance to impress at hooker, and Fiona Reidy.
Aoife McDermott and Nichola Fryday continue in the second-row, with captain Ciara Griffin joined in the back-row by Claire Molloy and Claire McLaughlin.
Kathryn Dane starts at scrum-half once more to partner Nicole Fowley. Sene Naoupu links up with 19-year-old Enya Breen in the centre, after an impressive display from the youngster against Les Blues last time out.
Parsons is at 11, with Eimear Considine at 14, and Lauren Delany completing the team at 15.
The 23 is made up by Emma Hooban, Linda Djougang, Laura Feely, Edel McMahon, Anna Caplice, Nicole Cronin, Ellen Murphy and Laura Sheehan, in what is a strong bench for the women in green.
After registering only, a single win in the tournament so far, Irish head coach Adam Griggs has called on his team to finish with a flourish.
“This is the last Test match of the international season for our players and we are determined to finish on a high. Everyone is disappointed with the result against France. We want to make sure we take control of our performance this weekend and finish on a positive note moving forward,” he said.
Ireland currently sit in fourth position in the table, five points behind Italy in third and one ahead of their host, Wales, in fifth. A bonus-point win coupled with an Italian loss to the French could see Ireland claim third-place when the championship concludes on Sunday.
Irish Women Fall Short to Brilliant French
Ireland women’s team have lost their second home game of the championship
Congratulations @FFRugby on a well deserved win. 17-47.
Plenty of lessons for our young team.
— Irish Rugby (@IrishRugby) March 9, 2019
The result was not a full reflection on the efforts put in by the Irish women but means they more than likely to finish the tournament in the bottom half of the table.
The hosts suffered a nightmare start with Nicola Fryday being sin-binned after only two minutes following a tackle on Yanna Rivoalen without the ball.
A minute later and the French were over for their first try of the night as Caroline Thomas finished from a lineout maul. Returning world player of the year, Jessy Tremouliere, converted and it was 7-0.
Incredibly, Ireland down to 14 fought back and scored a try through captain Ciara Griffin after 10 minutes. With the conversion missed by Nicole Fowley it was a two-point game.
Ian Jason was over for the visitors within four minutes of Ireland’s try, once again Tremouliere slotted over the conversion and it was 14-5.
Again, Ireland refused to lie down to the reigning champions and with 19-minutes on the clock they were back within two points as Claire Molloy burst through a gap in the defence to touch down.
How does @claire_mol do it? TRY!
Ireland 12 France 14
Energia Park is rocking! Record #WomensSixNations crowd!
Young fans here Can see what they Can be! pic.twitter.com/qhwnpId25O
— Irish Rugby (@IrishRugby) March 9, 2019
Fowley converted this time to reduce the deficit.
The scoring slowed down over the next ten minutes as both teams battled for chances until the 33rd minute when Lise Arricastre finished for the French. Tremouliere converted to push the score out to 21-12.
It was 28-12 at half-time after Caroline Boujard crossed the whitewash to secure the bonus-point, again Tremouliere was on hand for the extras and the French were in control.
Things only got worse for the hosts after half-time, with Les Blues No 8 Romane Menager getting over for her sides fifth try on 46-minutes. Another two points for Tremouliere meant it was 35-12 heading into the final 30 minutes of play.
Menager turned from hero to villain very quickly as she was sent-off for leading with her non-tackling arm into Griffin.
The red card gave Ireland a bit of a boost and on 63-minutes Sene Naoupu finished off some nice work from Ellen Murphy and Eimear Considine. Unfortunately, that was as good as it got as the conversion was missed.
With 10 minutes remaining the French were over again despite Ireland’s one-woman advantage as Audrey Forlani got another five-pointer. Tremouliere scored her final conversion of the night to make it six from six.
A late Marine Menager try with four minutes left coupled with a missed conversion meant the game ended 47-17 in the visitor’s favour.
The loss now means that Ireland will travel to Wales next weekend in what looks like a straight shootout for fourth-place. While the win ensures that France’s chances of retaining their title remain alive as they head to Italy in the final round.
Ireland Women Forced into Two Late Changes
Ireland women have had to make two late changes to their team to play France
Head coach Adam Griggs named his team yesterday, with five changes to the one that lost to Italy two weeks ago but has now been handed two more injuries and more changes have been made.
The two late changes see Aoife McDermott and Beibhinn Parsons come in for Juliet Short and Megan Williams respectively.
The rest of the team remains the same as yesterday’s announcement meaning that Laura Feely, Deirbhile Nic a Bhaird, and Fiona Reidy are in the front-row.
McDermott joins Nichola Fryday in the second-row, with Fryday moving to five having been named at four yesterday.
In the back-row captain Ciara Griffin shifts to 6 with the always impressive Claire Molloy at 7. Claire McLaughlin makes her first start in the 8 jersey having previously been a regular in the centre or back three in previous championships.
Kathryn Dane is at scrum-half, while Nicole Fowley retains her No 10 jersey once more.
Sene Naoupu is joined in the centre by debutant Enya Breen of Munster, who will be hoping to impress in Michelle Claffey’s absence.
Alison Miller and Eimear Considine are on the left and right wings respectively, with Lauren Delany at 15.
Parsons is joined on the bench by Emma Hooban, Lindsay Peat, Linda Djougang, Anna Caplice, Claire Boles, Nicole Cronin and Ellen Murphy.
#InternationalWomensDay— Irish Rugby (@IrishRugby) March 8, 2019
Celebrate our International Women.
Support the girls and women in your club or school to play any sport they want and to be the best that they can be.#CantSeeCantBe #20×20 #ShowYourStripes pic.twitter.com/mgc91BPwvB
Speaking ahead of the game Griggs was upbeat about Ireland’s previous three games, which included two loses, but knows that France will be a different challenge.
“There have been a lot of positives in each game we’ve played, and we must keep building on them along with our work-ons to put together a more comprehensive performance. France is no mean feat and we know they are coming to Dublin to try and get a result,” he said.
Last year’s Grand Slam champions, France, welcome back last year’s world player of the year, Jessy Tremouliere, to their starting XV.
Lise Arricastre, Caroline Thomas and Clara Joyeax as the front three, with
Celine Ferer and Audrey Forlani as the locks. Gaelle Hermet, Coumba Diallo and Romane Menager make up a strong French pack.
Yanna Rivoalen is at nine with Pauline Bourdan at ten, while Gabrielle Vernier and Yolaine Yengo are at inside and outside centre respectively.
Ian Jason is on the left wing, Caroline Boujard on the right and Tremouliere makes up the XV.
The French team has been hit with injuries much like the hosts and head coach Annick Hayraud admitted injuries had a part to play in the selection.
“Injuries have impacted our choices in this team selection, including another one yesterday. So, we have to adapt and call on players who have been doing well in the league,” she said.
Ireland will be looking to leap-frog France in third with a win on Saturday while France will be hoping to keep their slim championship aspirations alive with a win of their own on Irish soil.
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