Wales recorded their first win over the Irish since 2011 with a bonus point victory at the Arms Park. Tries from Beth Lewis, Jasmine Joyce, Carys Phillips and Jess Kavanagh were enough to see Roland Phillips side gain victory on the last day of the 2019 Women’s Six Nations championship.
Wales claim a first Victory over Ireland in eight years
Ireland started off the better side, forcing Wales under immense pressure from the get go. Some heavy carrying from the forwards allowed Beibhinn Parsons to cross over in the far corner.
Wales’ scrum was helping them ease the pressure and they eventually leveled the score with a beautiful touchline run from Jess Kavanagh.
Wales were starting to have more ball in hand and it was showing. Roland Phillips’ women grew in confidence and they bagged a second try following a powerful driving maul that allowed Cary Phillips to dot down.
Despite the strong wind, Lleucu George converted. Wales then defended superbly to see out the half.
Half time; Wales 12 Ireland 5
Wales started the second half where they left off. On top in the pack. Ireland started making some sloppy mistakes and following a huge defensive effort from the Welsh they got the first try through Beth Lewis.
A smart dive for the line from close quarters and converted by Lleucu George.
This was quickly followed up by a fabulous break and the bonus point try for Jasmine Joyce that saw Wales claim a first victory over Ireland in eight years.
Full time; Wales 24 Ireland 5
Speaking after the match, Siwan Lillicrap said, ”It was outstanding. Ireland came out all guns blazing in both halves and we spent a fair bit of time defending but our defence was superb today and it really put us on the front foot.
“When we got that turnover ball we took some opportunities and some big finishes from our wingers and it was nice to get over with the driving maul.
”We knew Ireland were going to come out strong but we got around the corner, numbered up and got off the line, and that rewarded us. When you got your defense right everything else will come.”
Looking back at the Scotland win, Lillicrap spoke about just how important that win was.
”We needed that, it’s good to go out there and score tries and I think we grew in confidence as time went by. It’s been a close campaign in some games and you’re almost afraid to make mistakes as you want that win, but we knew we could score tries and played with some freedom.
Welsh women’s rugby in a good place
“Having only won one game in last year’s competition, this season has seen a step up. Two wins and a draw with a young squad is showing progress” the flanker said, ”I think it’s huge progress. We’ve got 18 and 19-year olds in this squad and they don’t look out of place. They work hard and are testing us so we have to work hard for our jerseys now which is the way it should be. The future is bright and exciting.
”To only win one game last year and to win two games this year and draw one is a big start for us and that’s just the start of what you’ve got to see.
”We’re now comfortable in defense, comfortable in our structure. You need to be calm and collected even though you want to be physical so I think now we believe in our structure and we believe we can get high reward from it and that’s showing in our performances.”
”Main photo credit”