The Women’s 2020 Six Nations was severely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. The campaign was paused on the 20th March 2020 due to the coronavirus outbreak. An attempt was made to complete the competition on 24th October and 1st November 2020 but an coronavirus outbreak in the French camp led to the competition being cancelled for the season.
England Women did manage to complete all their fixtures and they were appointed champions having built up an unassailable lead at the top of the table after winning all five games.
We reviewed the Ireland performance after the first stoppage but, with 8 players added to the squad and another win in the bank there were a few changes to the statistics.
In terms of results, this can only be regarded as a successful tournament for Ireland, the 75% win ratio a big improvement on 2018-19. However, I would have liked to have seen that match against France.
You can find all our Ireland Women Six Nations coverage in our new home for International Women’s Rugby here.
Ireland Women Players Used
There were eight additional players introduced to the squad for the match against Italy taking the total players used to 35. Three players, Brittany Hogan (Ulster), Neve Jones (Ulster) and Katie O’Dwyer (Leinster) made their international debut’s, Hogan becoming a dual International after transitioning from the Ireland 7’s side.
Despite picking up two new caps, Ulster’s representation still remains poor as Leinster dominate the Irish squad.
Leinster player involvement has risen from 29% and IQ Rugby/English based players has increased from 20% in 2018-19. Munster involvement has dropped by a few percentage points and Connacht involvement has dropped by 10%, Ulster involvement remaining the same at 6%.
Jones’ involvement in the Italy game has seen a player at an Ulster club gain some recognition in this category for the first time in two years, the minutes played by club shown below.
The close season transfer activities have seen Blackrock become the dominant club in the international arena at the expense of Old Belvedere and Railway Union who were top of this table at the end of the three games in March. Railway have received a double whammy in that time with another player swapping Dublin’s Fair City for the streets paved with gold in Acton, West London!
However, I’d guess Bohs, who swept all before them during the 2019-20 season, will be disappointed to see their representation drop from a table topping 23% in 2018-19 to 13% this campaign.
While it’s good news for Ulster clubs to finally get back on this leader-board it’s bad news for Galwegians who, as Connachts senior representatives, drop off the board by virtue of close season transfers.
There is an unprecedented number of statistics made available this season by the Six Nations’ organisers. We’ve chosen some of the key stats to highlight some of the individual player performances.
Most minutes played.
Nine players, Ciara Cooney, Kathryn Dane, Lauren Delany, Linda Djougang, Ciara Griffin, Cliodhna Moloney, Sene Naoupu, Lindsay Peat and Dorothy Wall appeared in all four squads throughout the Six Nations with six averaging over an hour a game.
However it was Sale Shark’s Delany who recorded the most minutes on the pitch, only missing four minutes in total over the four games.
The top ten players in terms of game time is shown below.
|Lauren Delany||Sale Sharks||IQ Rugby||316|
|Sene Naoupu||Old Belvedere||Leinster||306|
|Linda Djougang||Old Belvedere||Leinster||271|
|Kathryn Dane||Old Belvedere||Ulster||264|
|Ciara Griffin||UL Bohemian||Munster||261|
|Cliodhna Moloney||Wasps||IQ Rugby||242|
|Edel McMahon||Wasps||IQ Rugby||235|
|Anna Caplice||Harlequins||IQ Rugby||226|
|Lindsay Peat||Railway Union||Leinster||220|
Most Points Scored.
Ireland scored a total of 70 points over the four games. The points came from 9 tries, 4 conversions, 2 penalty tries, and a penalty. Excluding the penalty tries the try conversion rate was 44%.
Of the eleven tries in total, 7 came from the forwards and 4 from the backs. Cliodhna Moloney and Beibhinn Parsons topped the points scoring table, each recording 10 points from 2 tries.
All the scorers are shown below.
|Cliodhna Moloney||Wasps||IQ Rugby||10|
|Lauren Delany||Sale Sharks||IQ Rugby||5|
|Sene Naoupu||Old Belvedere||Leinster||5|
|Linda Djougang||Old Blevedere||Leinster||5|
|Lindsay Peat||Railway Union||Leinster||5|
|Claire Molloy||Wasps||IQ Rugby||5|
|Claire Keohane||Railway Union||Munster||4|
|Hannah Tyrrell||Old Blevedere||Leinster||4|
|Ellen Murphy||Gloucester||IQ Rugby||3|
Most Meters Made
Ireland made a total of 3220 meters from 552 carries over the four games played. This works out at a average of 5.8 meters per carry.
Despite missing one game, Connacht youngster Beibhinn Parsons topped the meters carried table averaging over 100 meters per game or an average of 15.4 meters from each of her 21 carries.
The top ten players in terms of meters made are shown below.
|Sene Naoupu||Old Belvedere||Leinster||289|
|Linda Djougang||Old Blevedere||Leinster||252|
|Lindsay Peat||Railway Union||Leinster||246|
|Lauren Delany||Sale Sharks||IQ Rugby||214|
|Anna Caplice||Harlequins||IQ Rugby||194|
|Ciara Griffin||UL Bohemian||Munster||171|
|Eimear Considine||UL Bohemian||Munster||169|
|Edel McMahon||Wasps||IQ Rugby||142|
Successful Tackles Made
Ireland made a total of 866 tackles, completing 770 (89%), over the four games. Despite limited game time, Blackrock’s Dorthy Wall came out on top with 49 tackles completed in 143 minutes played. This averages out at 27 per match. Wall only missed one tackle over the tournament giving her a successful tackle completion rate of 98%.
The top ten players for tackles completed are shown below.
|Sene Naoupu||Old Belvedere||Leinster||48|
|Linda Djougang||Old Blevedere||Leinster||48|
|Edel McMahon||Wasps||IQ Rugby||45|
|Ciara Griffin||UL Bohemian||Munster||39|
|Kathryn Dane||Old Belvedere||Ulster||38|
|Cliodhna Moloney||Wasps||IQ Rugby||38|
|Anna Caplice||Harlequins||IQ Rugby||37|
|Ciara Cooney||Wasps||IQ Rugby||37|
|Aoife McDermott||Railway Union||Leinster||36|
Ireland completed 14 breakdown steals over the four games with an average of 3.5 per game. Wasp’s Cliodhna Moloney actually completed the most steals for Ireland over the series but we have flagged Claire Molloy for this one due to her average of 2 steals per game. Molloy’s stats in general, from that single game against Italy, are outstanding.
All the breakdown steals can be viewed below.
|Cliodhna Moloney||Wasps||IQ Rugby||4|
|Linda Djougang||Old Blevedere||Leinster||3|
|Anna Caplice||Harlequins||IQ Rugby||2|
|Claire Molloy||Wasps||IQ Rugby||2|
|Lauren Delany||Sale Sharks||IQ Rugby||1|
|Ciara Griffin||UL Bohemian||Munster||1|
|Edel McMahon||Wasps||IQ Rugby||1|
The stats also let us highlight areas for improvement over the series. The opening game against Scotland flagged major concerns about the scrums, lineouts, penalties conceded, and handling errors so it’s worth benchmarking these for future reference.
Scrums started off poorly against Scotland with a 57% success rate on their own put in. The set piece did improve throughout the series and, after losing three against the head in the opening fixture, Ireland only lost two more over the next three games.
Ireland finished the tournament with an 87% success rate on their own put in, compared to a 92% success rate for their opponents, but it still has a way to go before it’s a reliable source of front foot ball.
Lineouts started off with a 62% success rate in that first game but, unfortunately, it didn’t improve throughout the series. The lineout success rate slipped to 58% over the series, compared to a 73% success rate for their opponents.
Lineouts remain a major area of concern.
Ireland conceded 19 penalties in their first game in the Six Nations and, though things improved over the series, they ended up conceding an average of just over 13 per game, or 53 in total.
In previous season’s this would have been a major concern but the penalties conceded are generally higher across the board due to the new rucking laws. However, it must be noted that over the four games Ireland’s opponents conceded 39 penalties, an average of 3.5 fewer per game.
Issues with the scrum led to the props being penalised and general scrappy ball from the set pieces saw players scrambling to retain possession, which would have added a few penalties per game.
Ireland made a total of 40 handling errors over the 4 matches giving an average of 10 per game.
The errors are fairly evenly distributed over the four games. Their opponents made a total of 41 errors so 10 handling errors per game looks pretty much par for the course.
As we reviewed the stats for the series we also kept an eye out for outstanding individual displays.
The Front Row Union Player of the Series
The Front Row Union Player of the Series
We had flagged Djougang after our review of the three games in March and she produced a similar performance in the October game against Italy to finish the series in the top three of all the above criteria.
These are not just exceptional stats for a front row player, they are exceptional stats for any player.