Women Six Nations: Ireland 29 Italy 8

Published Categorised as 2020-21, International Rugby Women, Ireland Women, Italy Women, Six Nations Women Tagged , , , , , , ,
Ireland defeat Italy 29-8 in the Women's 6 Nations

Ireland got their first win in the 2022 Six Nations on Sunday afternoon beating a disappointing Italy at a half full Musgrave Park.

Unfortunately Italy had lost 4 players to Covid just prior to their departure though, initially, it didn’t seem to have much effect as they started strongly, Beatrice Rigoni landing a penalty on the 4th minute to give Italy a 0 – 3 lead.

Early pressure from Italy.

It was a scrappy first quarter full of errors but Ireland finally strung enough phases together to send Lucy Mulhall over in the corner after a couple of drives from the forwards pulled in the Italian defence. No conversion from Nicole Cronin, who has been disappointing from the tee, leaving the score at 5 – 3 in Ireland’s favour.

Ireland celebrate Lucy Mulhall’s try.

In a match that saw 45 handling errors, 46 missed tackles and 24 penalties it was far from a classic but Ireland did more with what possession they could hold on to and they eventually got their second try with Neve Jones taking control at the back of a maul to claim her first try for Ireland.

Somewhere in there Neve Jones is smiling.

With no further score the teams turned round with Ireland leading 10 – 3.

Ireland literally got a slice of luck at the start of the second half when Kathryn Dane’s mis-kick landed in Eve Higgins hands for the centre to sprint home from the 10 yard line. Cronin knocked over her only conversion, from in front of the posts, and Ireland led 17 – 3.

All smiles from Eve Higgins as she sprints clear.

Without their regular second rows Italy were struggling in the scrum and line out and Ireland only had to kick for territory to keep the upper hand. A five meter scrum was converted into a penalty try ten minutes into the second half to gave Ireland their bonus point and a 24 – 3 lead.

Ireland’s defensive woes at the driving maul, prevalent against Wales and France, continued as Melissa Bettoni spotted a huge gap on the blindside to trot over for Italy’s only try with ten minutes to go.

However, Ireland had the last word when a poor Italian line out was pounced on by Katie O’Dwyer for a popular score.

Katie O’Dwyer goes over from 30 yards out!?

Final Score: Ireland 29 Italy 8.

Ireland now go back to square one as a handful of players leave the squad for 7s duty. With that being the case I’m disappointed the 7s players were used at all in what is really only a tournament of practice matches for the sides going to the World Cup, ideal for having a look at new players. It’s a bit of a kick in the teeth to those players that kept playing week in and week out in the AIL.

The first three games have been a waste of time in building a XV’s squad and have only served in giving the 7s players some game time ahead of their World Series return. The Ireland Women’s XV’s side are no further on.

Gallery Below

Over 300 images by Bob Given Photography.

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