Every revolution begins with a single act of defiance.Mahatma Gandhi
A quote from Mahatma Gandhi may be a strange way to start a match report but this week has been about more than this game.
Unfortunately, as I write this on Sunday afternoon, the “counter revolutionaries” have been out in force with possibly the most cosseted sport in Ireland, before, during and after lockdown, declaring a Euro 10M deficit, surely not to limit any expectations of expenditure in the women’s programme, before the men’s team blew all interest in the women’s game off the back pages by beating another team of men.
The men’s win against New Zealand will be followed by a round of negotiations with sponsors looking for an association with the winning team, the women’s win against USA not so much. The men’s team could show solidarity in the “team of us” by stating any individual or team sponsorship agreement has to be matched by a similar one with the women’s team. Hmm!
Anyway, to the game. It was far from a classic but, in an error strewn first half, tries from Beibhinn Parsons and Leah Lyons gave Ireland a 12 – 5 lead at the break before Lindsay Peat crossed for the decisive score in the second. Stacey Flood added a first half conversion and a second half penalty.
Ireland (12) 20
TRY: Beibhinn Parsons, Leah Lyons, Lindsay Peat
CON: Stacey Flood
PEN: Stacey Flood
USA (5) 10
TRY: Bulou Mataitoga, Elizabeth Cairns
A few days before the game I was predicting a fairly comfortable win for the USA despite the fact that they have only played two competitive games since 1st January 2020 compared to 12 for Ireland. I’d expected a dispirited Ireland going through through the final throes of an underperforming regime but, those small act’s of defiance, following Anthony Eddy’s pronouncements, tipped the game in Ireland’s favour.
The makeshift USA who left 7 of their key players back in the States, after last weeks game against Canada, probably played the better rugby, but not enough to overcome an Ireland side with something to prove. This, added to Sara Cox’s general inclination to interpret every infringement as one worthy of stopping play, allowed Ireland to focus on set piece to set piece.
The opening quarter was fairly scrappy but the small crowd at the RDS didn’t care; though it took them a while to get going as well. The bulk of the noise in the opening quarter came from cheering the oppositions mistakes as both teams struggled for continuity.
Ireland finally found something when Parsons cut inside the drifting USA defence after catching a Flood cross kick, the winger making amends for squandering an earlier chance. However the USA made amends themselves, at their second attempt, when they created space out wide for winger Bulou Mataitoga to cross after an attacking line out.
Ireland went straight back up the park, after a series of penalties, for Lyons to ground the ball off the back of a maul and, with Flood adding the extras, Ireland took a 12 – 5 lead into the second half.
The USA produced the best move of the game with an expertly executed rush down the left wing, with some delightful interchanges, which ended with Elizabeth Cairns crossing for an unconverted try and they looked to be hitting their straps as centres Amy Talei Bonte and Katana Howard showed some creativity in the centre of the park.
Ireland did have one trick up their sleeve and they used it well, their lineout maul seeing Peat dot down after Mataitoga was yellow carded for dragging one down a minute earlier.
A response from the USA’s Tess Feury was denied, in one of the few occasions when the TMO was not referred to, and the game petered out with Flood knocking over a late penalty after good work by Eve Higgins.
Images by Bob Given Photography
|Lauren Delany||15||Kayla Canett|
|Laura Sheehan||14||Tess Feury|
|Eimear Considine||13||Amy Talei Bonte|
|Sene Naoupu||12||Katana Howard|
|Beibhinn Parsons||11||Bulou Mataitoga|
|Stacey Flood||10||Megan Foster|
|Ailsa Hughes||9||Carly Waters|
|Lindsay Peat||1||Catherine Benson|
|Cliodhna Moloney||2||Saher Hamdam|
|Leah Lyons||3||Hope Rogers|
|Nicola Fryday||4||Kristine Sommer|
|Sam Monaghan||5||Alycia Washington|
|Ciara Griffin||6||Rachel Ehrecke|
|Edel McMahon||7||Rachel Johnston|
|Anna Caplice||8||Kate Zackery|
|Replacements Used||Replacements Used|
|Linda Djougang||Elizabeth Cairns|
|Eve Higgins||Nick James|
|Neve Jones||Olivia Ortiz|
|Katie O’Dwyer||McKenzie Hawkins|
|Kathryn Dane||Sara Levy|
|Maeve Og O’Leary||Hallie Taufoou|
|Amee Leigh Murphy Crowe||Maya Learned|