21 May, 10:02
Presentation Brothers College Transition Year Students recently completed a Rugby Coaching Course following 11 weeks of modules tutored by Munster Rugby Coaching Officers.
Clonmel and Munster fullback Niamh Briggs kicked two penalties against the Italian side, while debutant Niamh Kavanagh from Highfield made a memorable start with her first international try in the opening half.
Leading 8-5 at the break after a tough opening half the Irish Women returned with three second half tries from Gillian Bourke, Claire Molly and Mairead Kelly, securing a confidence-boosting victory.
Highfield’s Geraldine Rea marked her debut in the centre with a player of the match performance while her fellow club woman Heather O’Brien won her first cap also when she came on as a 64th minute replacement for Carol Staunton.
Pleasing from an overall Ireland point of view was the performance of seven international newcomers, and speaking after the win Philip Doyle said “With a brand new squad this season, Italy away from home was always going to be a tough game to open our year.”
"They delivered on the physicality we were expecting and I'm delighted to come away with a win. It was great to see Niamh (Kavanagh) and Ger (Rea) do so well - these are new players for us and they were outstanding.”
Looking forward to the upcoming challenge against France Doyle added “We have a brand new squad this season and we capped a lot of new players last weekend. We have a very short turnaround time this week and we felt the need for continuity and to bed in the combinations."
"The French are a big challenge and it will be a stern test for some of the new girls but we are looking forward to playing in Ashbourne as we have been getting great support there in recent seasons."
Ireland Women v Italy Women:
15. Niamh Briggs (UL Bohemians/Munster)
14. Niamh Kavanagh (UL Bohemians/Munster)
13. Lynne Cantwell (Richmond/Exile)
12. Geraldine Rea (Highfield/Munster)
11. Mairead Kelly (UL Bohemians/Munster)
10. Nora Stapleton (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
9. Amy Davis (Blackrock/Leinster)
1. Fiona Coghlan (UL Bohemians/Leinster) Captain
2. Gillian Bourke (Bristol/Munster)
3. Lauren Day (Waterloo/Ulster)
4. Marie Louise Reilly (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
5. Laura Guest (Highfield/Munster)
6. Carol Staunton (Galwegians/Connacht)
7. Claire Molloy (Bristol/Connacht)
8. Joy Neville (UL Bohemians/Munster)
16. Stacey Kennedy (City of Derry/Ulster)
17. Emer McManamly (Blackrock/Leinster)
18. Deirdre O'Brien (Blackrock/Leinster)
19. Heather O'Brien (Highfield/Munster)
20. Larissa Muldoon (UWIC/Exile)
21. Gill Nolan (St. Mary's/Leinster)
22. Jackie Shiels (Richmond/Leinster)