Currie RFC, Edinburgh
MUNSTER winger Jeanette Feighery was Ireland's heroine over the weekend as she helped her country secure their first ever win over the Scots in their last outing before the Women's World Cup in Canada.
An extended Irish squad travelled to Edinburgh to take on a fancied Scotland side who have always come out on top in games between the two Celtic nations at Six Nations level.
Irish coach Philip Doyle made four changes from the side who had last beaten Canada way back in April, and newcomer Jeannette Feighery will have hugely boosted her World Cup chances as she grabbed two tries against a strong Scottish side.
Feighery came off the bench in Ireland s game against Canada for her first cap but was injured within minutes of coming on, but this time there was no stopping the speedster who scored two first-half tries. Scotland took an early lead through a Paula Chalmers penalty but Feighery s first try, a gem, came after 20 minutes.
The winger secured a high ball some 60 metres out and used her speed to outpace her opposite number and race through untouched for her score. Grace Davitt missed the conversion and then a penalty while Chalmers slotted her second, but then Feighery struck again before half-time to push the lead out to 10-6.
She was on the end of a break from scrum-half Tania Rosser with fullback Joanne O Sullivan this time failing to convert.
Scotland put Ireland under enormous pressure in the second half but Ireland s superb defence held firm in the face of an assault on their line. Scrum-half Chalmers was a major threat for the Scots from the base throughout the game as were strong Scottish centres Rimma Petlevannaya and Rhona Shepherd.
Positives for Ireland was their strong set-piece game at both line-out and scrum and excellent performances from Feighery and another relative newcomer Munster's Eimear O Sullivan at number six.
Ireland s willingness to attempt real width in their game is also good news given that their next game is their opening World Cup pool clash with one of the tournament favourites, France.
The Irish hammered home their advantage on the hour-mark when captain, UL 'Bohs star Sarahjane Belton broke away from the defence 30 metres out for an easy score which Davitt converted.
Philip Doyle emptied his entire eleven-player bench which had been agreed by both teams before kick-off in the non-capped clash.
Ireland will depart for the World Cup in Canada on August 27.
Ireland face games against France, America and South Africa in their opening pool games
Ireland: J O Sullivan, J Feighery, L Cantwell, G Davitt, N Ni Chadhain, SJ Belton (c), T Rosser F Coughlan, J Lonergan, M Barrett, C Mahon, G Healy, E O Sullivan, Rachel Boyd, Joy Neville
Replacements. O Brennan (for R Boyd 40), G McAllister (for M Barrett 58), R Foley (for G Healy 61), L Guest (for F Coghlan 72), Y Nolan (for J Lonergan 72), M Kelly (for J Feighery 78), S Houston (for G Davitt 78), S Fleming (for N Ni Chaidhain 78), L Beamish (for T Rosser 78), S Ryan (for E O Sullivan 78)
Scotland: LMillard,C Ovenden, R Petlevannaya, R Shepherd, V Fitzpatrick, E Kerr, P Chalmers (C), L Reid, I Frickleton, G McCord, L Wheeler, S Mee, S Brown, B MacLeod, D Kennedy
IWRFU Press Officer