The teams have been announced for Ireland’s all important clash against the Black Ferns which take place tomorrow in Marcoussis at 17:00 UK/Ire time.
There has been one change to the team that started against the USA with Siobhan Fleming benching and Paula Fitzpatrick taking her place in the starting line up. With Ireland outweighed by by nearly 5kg per player in the pack Fitzpatrick’s extra bulk will have come into reckoning with Head Coach Philip Doyle. On the bench Vikki McGinn comes in for Jackie Shiels as back three cover.
Height wise and age wise there is not a lot to choose between the two teams, Ireland are on average a year older and they average much the same in height, though Ireland have a significant advantage with Marie Louise Reilly standing a good three inches clear. However to me the most significant stat is that Ireland are outweighed by 38 kg in total in the pack.
The only real analysis that you need for this game is that Ireland need to play with controlled ferocity from kick off to the final whistle, compete for every ball, hit harder than they’ve ever hit and defend like demons for the entire 80 minutes.
The team has the skill set, the technique and the ability to win this one but they will all count as nout if they don’t match the Black Ferns in the physical battle and what a battle it will be.
My reckoning is that this one will be won or lost in the first twenty minutes. If Ireland can contain the Black Ferns for the first quarter then I can see Ireland’s game management come out on top, However if New Zealand get a significant lead then it could become a bit of a rout.
Ireland are very much the underdogs in this one, any team would be playing the World Champions would be, but the team have been focusing on this one since the Pools were announced and I think they may just be ready to produce one of the biggest shocks in Women’s Rugby.
Can’t wait. #COYGIG
|Niamh Briggs||15||Selica Winiata|
|Ashleigh Baxter||14||Renee Wickliffe|
|Lynne Cantwell||13||Huriana Manuel|
|Grace Davitt||12||Amiria Rule|
|Alison Miller||11||Honey Hireme|
|Nora Stapleton||10||Kelly Brazier|
|Tania Rosser||9||Emma Jensen|
|Fiona Coghlan||1||Kathleen Wilton|
|Gillian Bourke||2||Fiao’o Fa’amausili (C)|
|Ailis Egan||3||Aleisha Nelson|
|Sophie Spence||4||Eloise Blackwell|
|Marie Louise Reilly||5||Jackie Patea|
|Paula Fitzpatrick||6||Rawinia Everitt|
|Claire Molloy||7||Linda Itunu|
|Heather O’Brien||8||Casey Robertson|
|Sharon Lynch||16||Stephanie Te Ohaere-Fox|
|Fiona Hayes||17||Ruth McKay|
|Laura Guest||18||Justine Lavea|
|Siobhan Fleming||19||Aroha Savage|
|Larissa Muldoon||20||Kendra Cocksedge|
|Jenny Murphy||21||Claire Richardson|
|Vikki McGinn||22||Shakira Baker|