We caught up with Ulster Women’s coach Philip Doyle after their 3 – 16 loss to a Munster side featuring more than a few internationals who had benefited from Doyle’s coaching during his highly successful period with Ireland Women. 

Despite the loss, I think we both agreed that there were a lot of positives from the game. 

I’d stated before the match that anything better than a twenty point loss would be a result, do you see it that way? 

No, no. I go out to win. I don’t do moral victories!

We lost and that is he be all and end all. Disappointed in one way that our concentration levels went in the last fifteen minutes which is something we have already talked about and they just said that their concentration just went. It’s something we’re going to have to pick up on because in the first half we were intense and to a certain extent in the first ten minutes of the second half we kept that intensity up, which was great, but then we just died away. 

You were under pressure for the first half but then picked it up towards the break. Its that how you see it?

We were under a lot of pressure but I thought our defence was immense in the sense that Munster kept giving away cheap possession by knocking on and that was only down to our good defence. We were quite confident in defence but when were in possession we gave away possession way too easily. 

Were you pleased with the youngsters and how they slotted into the set up? 

Immensely. I’m very impressed with the two girls in the forwards especially. Hanna and Storm. It was nothing to them as in they weren’t fazed. I was saying like keep an eye out for Heather O’Brien, ex No 8 Irish International and they were going ,”Who?”. They just don’t care. It’s fantastic to see the positivity from these girls and they just take no crap basically, they just come in and they want to dish it and that’s brilliant. 

Have you had a chance to assess injuries ahead of the Leinster game?

No not yet, we’re waiting till later on but at the moment I think they are all soft tissue injuries thankfully, a few cramps here and there and the odd bang but nothing too serious. 

And are you looking forward to returning to Donnybrook? 

I am actually dying to get back to Donnybrook. I’m very confident that we can actually start playing. You saw out there that the way we are playing rugby, when we do play it, is quite attractive rugby. Compared to say Munster (no disrespect to them – they play the Munster way) we play, I think, a much nicer looking brand of rugby up in Ulster, and I think that we can easily bring that to Donnybrook next weekend. 

In the other women’s Interprovincial match of the weekend Leinster went down 8 – 5 to Connacht in Galway so it should be an interesting game next week with both sides looking to get off the mark in this season’s campaign.


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