Irish Women make history in Scotland
12th March 2007 By Munster Rugby
The Irish Womens Rugby Team made history on Friday in Edinburgh beating Scotland for the first time in the 6 Nations Competition. It was truly a wonderful display of rugby that saw the girls win with a score line of 18 points to 6.
Ireland’s intentions were clear from the kick off. Captain Sarah Jane Belton got proceedings started and the Irish girls put pressure on immediately as Scotland knocked the ball on. Sarah Jane followed up with a sweet kick into the corner and Ireland were down inside the Scottish 22.
Ireland got good possession in the lineout thanks to the jumping of Caroline Mahon and Orla Brennan. Shortly into the game Louise Beamish took full advantage of their hard work. She spotted a gap and took it well. With good support from the pack in the ruck, the backs worked well and got the ball out the back line. The move resulted in a penalty for Ireland. The passage of play ended in a scrum for the Irish following a knock on and again the backline demonstrated quick hands.
7 mins into the game Ireland were awarded a penalty for not releasing. A quick tap and go saw the ball go to winger Jeanette Feighery who made great yards up the pitch.
Scotland put pressure back on the Irish. From the possession gained they got it out their back line only to be put to ground by a great tackle by flanker Sinead Ryan. They did manage to offload and the Scottish number 7 Susie Brown took on the ball with pace. This came to a stop thanks to great defensive work by Ireland.
With 10 mins gone, Sarah Jane Belton put the Irish back in the Scottish 22 with a kick behind the defence. Orla Brennan won the ball in the lineout giving the Irish pack a chance to create a driving maul which then saw Jo O’Sullivan put Geri Healy into a lovely gap. However the chance wasn’t taken and Ireland were awarded a penalty which Jo O’Sullivan converted putting Ireland ahead. Scoreline 3-0.
The crowd were highly entertained when the Irish backline got the opportunity to let loose to use quick hands which resulted in Grace Davitt making a fantastic break down the left hand side of the pitch. Good possession of set pieces often gave Ireland great attacking opportunities.
Scotland continued to put pressure on Ireland resulting in a penalty awarded in front of the posts which was converted by Lynsey Harley. 3-3.
Ireland continued to keep the pressure on. When Ireland was presented with quick ball the backline took full advantage and used simple hands to advance over the game line.
With 25 minutes on the clock, consistent penalties from the Scottish forwards saw prop Beth Dickens sin binned. This gave Ireland a great attacking opportunity up front. In the 30th minute Lynne Cantwell made a great tackle and robbed the ball off Scotland which resulted in great hands from the backs giving Sarah Jane a 20 m sprint to the line and scored Ireland’s first try of the match.
Jeanette Feighery showed her outstanding attacking ability through out the half which saw her stepping around the Scottish defensive on a 30 m break where she was stopped by a try saving tackle by Lynsey Harley.
Lynsey Harley featured again in the 38 minute when Scotland was awarded a penalty for off side and she slotted a difficult kick. Scoreline reading 8 points to 6.
Shortly before the break Ireland’s hooker Jess Limbert was sin binned for hands in the ruck. Yvonne Nolan replacement hooker came on for Sinead Ryan as Ireland continued to put Scotland under pressure in the second half with good work from the forwards and quick thinking from fullback Sarah Jane Belton. She broke down the left hand side and was unfortunate in the off load. This surely gave Ireland the confidence they needed for the rest of the game.
With Scotland camped on their try line Ireland was unlucky not to take advantage and score. However they soon over came the Scottish defensive when they held their own scrum and presented good ball to their backline and simple hands once again put Jeanette Feighery in for a well taken try bringing Irelands score to 13.
Scotland never gave up the fight and applied pressure on the Irish defence, with Donna Kennedy leading from the front.
On the hour mark prop Marie Barrett was replaced by Laura Guest who also helped Ireland remain in control of the game.
Scotland were once again defending their try line and managed to turn possession over and attempted to clear their line. It was well gathered by Jeanette Feighery who again tore through the Scottish defence only to be stopped 5 metres out. Irelands forwards worked well to retain the ball moving it out to the backs. Lynne Cantwell broke through the Scottish backline and went in for the try bringing Irelands score to 18.
Ireland kept the pressure on led by Captain Sarah Jane Belton who later spotted a gap and put in a grubber kick that kept the Irish girls in the Scottish 22. The Irish forwards demonstrated their positive determined attitude highlighted as the game was quickly coming to an end when they turned the Scottish scrum and regained the possession.
The squad effort was demonstrated as all 22 were an important part of proceedings. Young talent also shone on the day as UL bohemian’s star Nicole Fitzgerald won her first cap.
With a final scoreline of 18 points to 6 Ireland were convincing victors on the day. As they prepare for their final match of the competition against Italy in Rome preparations can only be on a very positive vein as they bring this piece of history with them.