22 May, 10:29
Munster Rugby recently attended Rockwell College to host a skills session for their Junior Cup players.
Two changes have been made to the replacements with Munster and Highfield's Chris Fanning and UL Bohemian's Caroline Mahon joining the bench in replace of Yvonne Nolan and Carol Staunton.
Host nation England proved too strong for the Irish Women’s team in Surrey last Friday in their World Cup opener despite an aggressive defence from Ireland. The home side notched up 27 unanswered points in a game where England scored four tries with Fiona Pocock, Katherine Merchant, Amy Turner and Maggie Alphonsi all crossing the line and outhalf Katy McLean adding two conversions and a penalty.
England led just 12-0 at half time, but an excellent second half performance saw them stretch ahead. Although Ireland had the better of England in many sectors on the night, Ireland failed to make any inroads into the scoreline.
The pack in particular deserve special mention for their defensive efforts, with Munster’s Joy Neville standing out. Full back Niamh Briggs missed a penalty attempt after 29 minutes, however she had an outstanding defensive display, which included a crunching cover tackle on Catherine Merchant in the opening minute to prevent a certain try. Also impressive was centre Lynn Cantwell who’s work rate was relentless throughout.
Despite some obvious nerves and uncharacteristic errors, England, with five successive Six Nations titles behind them, showed their finishing power when it mattered and two tries towards the end of both halves put them out of Ireland's reach.
Irish Captain Fiona Coghlan said after the game "We definitely held our own in the first half and took the game to them. Their defence was outstanding at the start of the second half when we hung onto possession. It's unfortunate that we didn't get over the whitewash."
Next up for the Irish is the USA, who recorded a 51 nil victory over Kazakhstan on Friday afternoon. Looking forward to the match against the USA Philip Doyle added “Our application was good against England but we will work on recognising our chances and taking them for this game.”
Ireland Women v USA Women World Cup Pool B, Surrey Sports Park, Friday, August 24, kick-off 4.30pm
Ireland Women's Team to play USA:
15 - Niamh Briggs (Clonmel/Munster)
14 - Amy Davis (Blackrock/Leinster)
13 - Joanne O'Sullivan (Richmond/ Exile)
12 - Lynne Cantwell (UL Bohemians/Munster)
11 - Nora Stapleton (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
10 - Helen Brosnan (Highfield/Munster)
9 - Tania Rosser (Blackrock/Leinster)
1 - Fiona Coghlan (UL Bohemians/Leinster)
2 - Gillian Bourke (UL Bohemians/Munster)
3 - Louise Austin (UL Bohemians/Munster)
4 - Kate O'Loughlin (Clonmel/Munster)
5 - Marie Louise Reilly (Navan/Leinster)
6 - Orla Brennan (Blackrock/Leinster)
7 - Claire Molloy (Bristol/Connacht)
8 - Joy Neville (UL Bohemians/Munster)
16 – Chris Fanning (Highfield/Munster)
17 - Laura Guest (Highfield/Munster)
18 – Caroline Mahon (UL Bohemians/Leinster)
19 - Sinead Ryan (Blackrock/Leinster)
20 - Louise Beamish (UL Bohemian/Munster)
21 - Shannon Houston (Blackrock/Leinster)
22 - Mairead Kelly (UL Bohemians/Munster)
Ireland Women's Rugby World Cup Pool B Fixtures:
USA v Ireland, Surrey, Tuesday, August 24, 4.30pm
Ireland v Kazakhstan, Surrey, Saturday, August 28, 4.30pm