Munster Women Prepare for Final Showdown
4th October 2007 By Munster Rugby
The Munster Women’s team continued their unbeaten run in this year’s Interprovincial campaign with a hard fought 12-8 win over Leinster in Fermoy last weekend. However, the two sides must meet again on Octocber 27th to decide where the title will go this year.
Munster 12-8 Leinster
Saturday last, in Fermoy RFC saw the Munster women’s team beat rivals Leinster. It was a replay of last year’s final and it means that the two teams will now meet again on October 27th in Galway to battle it out for 1st and 2nd place. No doubt Leinster will be looking for revenge in a close match which ended up with a score line of 12-8.
In a well contested game from start to finish, Munster’s defence withstood a constant barrage from a determined Leinster side. The opening score was Leinster’s, who were the side to settle quickest. With cente Lynn Cantwell posing a great threat, Leinster had the Munster Women on the back foot from the kick off, depending on new outhalf Helen Brosnan to kick clear. In the 18th minute, fullback for the visitors, Grace Davitt scored a penalty with ease.
Fortunately this was the wake up call that Munster needed, and from the restart they put pressure on their Leinster counterparts. Young Sandra Williams put a great tackle in to cause a knock on by Leinster. From the scrum Munster continued to go forward and a break from Helen Brosnan saw Patrique Kelly burst through at a fantastic angle and pace to score the first try of the match. In turn No. 8 Joy Neville converted to give Munster a 7 -3 lead.
In a game which saw a huge number of unforced errors from both sides, Leinster seemed to be the more dominant force in the scrum. For the majority of the first half Leinster were camped in the Munster half but unable to capitalize. Fullback Grace Davitt tried in vain to kick behind the Munster defence, which flanker Sinéad Ryan tried to penetrate. A wave of turnovers saw Munster growing in confidence, using both their lineout and scrum as a platform for their back line. Just before the break, an on fire Patrique Kelly received a beautiful pass from Brosnan, which led to winger Sandra Williams going in for Munster’s second try, leaving the score12-3 to the home team.
Leinster started the second half like the first, putting the Munster defence under intense pressure. With the Munster women stretched and a try saving tackle by their full back, Amanda Greensmith, Leinster changed direction and had the overlap. This allowed the Leinster winger, Julie Doyle to successfully go over for a try.
The score line now at 12-8, the rest of the match was a real dog fight, with a litany of scrums. Both teams took turns in putting the other under pressure. There were outstanding performances from Helen Brosnan, Patrique Kelly and Joy Neville for Munster and Sinéad Ryan, Orla Brennan and Lynn Cantwell for Leinster. Having played 12 mins of extra time, Leinster finished strong, camped inside the Munster 22. It was a sigh of relief when Munster came out with the victory. Surely Leinster will be out for revenge in a months time for the Interpro final.
Munster Team: Laura Guest, Jean Lonergan, Marie Barrett, Deirdre Scannell, Kate O’Loughlin, Aoife Mahony, Paula O’Connor, Joy Neville, Louise Beamish Helen Brosnan, Karen Fitzpatrick, Patrique Kelly, Mairéad Kelly, Sandra Williams, Amanda Greensmith.
Leinster Team: Fiona Coughlan, Yvonne Nolan, Emer McNamamly, Caroline McMahon, Louise Austin, Debbie Clarke, Sinéad Ryan, Orla Brennan, Liz Comerford, Shannon Houston, Julie Doyle, Jackie Shields, Lynne Cantwell, Gail Doyle, Grace Davitt
Scorers: Munster – Patrique Kelly (1 try), Sandra Williams (1 try), Joy Neville (1 conversion)
Leinster – Grave Davitt (1 penalty), Julie Doyle (1 try)
Connacht 0-36 Munster
The Munster Senior Women’s team continued their winning streak with a 36-0 victory away from home over Connacht on September 15th.
Nicole Fitzgerald opened the scoring with an 8th minute penalty, with Karen Fitzpatrick crossing the line for Munster’s first try six minutes later after some great handling work by the backs. Fitzgerald converted to stretch Munster’s lead to 10-0.
It wasn’t until injury time in the first half that Munster added to their tally, this time with Paula O’Connor scoring a try with Fitzgerald once more converting to give Munster a 17-0 lead at half time.
Late in the second half Munster’s Helen Brosnan sneaked in for a great try after a penalty was awarded for a tripping offence. Though not converted, Munster still had plenty of gas in them, and in the closing minutes of the game Clara Bracken scored a try right in the corner, with Fitzgerald landing a superb conversion. Paula O’Connor crossed the line for her second try in the final play of the game, with Carol Murphy converting.
Coached by the new partnership of Donal O’Driscoll and Fiona Steed, Munster have been completely dominant in this year’s competition, keeping both opposing teams to date scoreless in their matches.
2007 INTERPROVINCIAL RESULTS
Saturday 8th September 2007
MUNSTER 42-0 ULSTER
Saturday 15th September 2007
CONNACHT 0-36 MUNSTER
Saturday 29th September 2007
MUNSTER 12-8 LEINSTER