Ireland women bounce back with emphatic four-try win over Scotland

Scotland 5

Ireland 22

Lewis Stuart reports from Scotstoun  

IRELAND WOMEN PUT last week’s hammering by England behind them as they got their Six Nations campaign going with a comfortable win against Scotland — gaining revenge for defeat by the same opponents in last year’s competition.

They laid the platform for their win by defying the elements to dominate the first half and come away with a narrow half-time lead despite playing into a strong wind blowing the frequent rain showers into their faces.

The secret was their classy handling and ability to hang onto any ball they did win for extended periods, their ball retention remarkably good in the circumstances as they recycled and kept the game at the Scottish end of the field.

By and large, Adam Griggs’ side kept it simple, mainly one-out runners crashing into the Scots defence but it worked when Aoife McDermott, the second row, was given space to hammer her way over the line and hand the visitors an early lead.

There were warnings that when Scotland did get their hands on the ball, they were capable of posing a threat out wide too, and on the one period when they did get some pressure, turning down an easy three points to go for the try, the hosts were rewarded when the forwards created the space and Hannah Smith exploited it to level the scores.

Anna Caplice was player of the match. Source: Craig Watson/INPHO

That was it for the home side before the break as Ireland stuck to their possession game until the eventual reward came on the stroke of half time when prop Leah Lyons drove over to restore their lead with winger Alison Miller extending it with her side’s third try soon after the teams returned.

With the wind at their backs, Ireland were able to control the rest of the game through the tireless work of their forward, with flanker Anna Caplice — named player of the match — collecting the bonus-point try before the hour mark.

Scotland scorers:

Tries: Hannah Smith.
Conversions: Lana Skeldon [0 from 1].

Ireland scorers:

Tries: Aoife McDermott, Leah Lyons, Alison Miller, Anna Caplice.
Conversions: Nicole Fowley [1 from 4].

SCOTLAND: 15. Chloe Rollie; 14. Liz Musgrove (Rhona Lloyd, 59), 13. Hannah Smith, 12. Lisa Thomson (captain), 11. Annabel Sergeant; 10. Helen Nelson (Lisa Martin, 68), 9. Mhairi Grieve (Sarah Law, 51); 1. Lisa Cockburn (Mairi Forsyth, 59), 2. Lana Skeldon 3. Megan Kennedy, 4. Emma Wassell, 5. Debs McCormack (Nicola Howat, 41), 6. Rachel Malcolm (Sophie Anderson, 73), 7. Rachel McLachlan (Jodie Rettie, 66), 8. Sarah Bonar (Sarah Malcolm, 75). 

IRELAND: 15. Lauren Delany; 14. Eimear Considine, 13. Sene Naoupu, 12. Michelle Claffey, 11. Alison Miller (Megan Williams, 63); 10. Nicole Fowley (Ellen Murphy, 73), 9. Ailsa Hughes (Kathryn Dane, 61); 1. Lauren Feely (Linda Djougang, 66), 2. Emma Hooban (Deirbhile Nic A Baird, 61), 3. Leah Lyons (Fiona Reidy, 72-74), 4. Aoife McDermott, 5. Nicola Fryday, 6. Anna Caplice (Claire McLaughlin, 69-73), 7. Claire Malloy (Claire Boles, 61), 8. Ciara Griffin (captain).

Referee: Beatrice Benevenuti [France].

Following a tough Six Nations opening defeat to England, Joe Schmidt will look to regroup against a dangerous Scotland side. This week, Murray Kinsella and Gavan Casey are joined by Bernard Jackman to assess the damage of last weekend and look ahead to the clash in Murrayfield:

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