Guinness PRO14 Conference B: Leinster V Southern Kings – The42.ie – February 22 2019

Leinster run 9 past Kings to tighten stranglehold on play-off spot

Ed Byrne and Noel Reid grabbed two apiece as Leinster moved within one win of securing their place in the knockout stage.

Leinster 59

Southern Kings 19

DEFENDING CHAMPIONS LEINSTER registered nine tries at the RDS this evening to move an astonishing 27 points clear at the summit of the Guinness PRO14 Conference B table.

So strong is their stranglehold at present, that another victory against the Cheetahs next Friday would guarantee them a home semi-final with all of four games to spare.

There was just six minutes gone on the clock when the deadlock was broken – Noel Reid sprinting through a gap for a converted try underneath the posts.

Though the early signs were ominous for the Southern Kings – who suffered a 34-0 demolition at the hands of Munster seven days ago – their initial response was emphatic. Following an extended spell of attacking pressure, Bjorn Basson side-stepped the returning Fergus McFadden to touch down in the left-corner.

While Bader Pretorius’ touchline kick was off-target, his namesake Sarel finished off a powerful line-out maul to edge the visitors into a surprise lead.

After being uncharacteristically sloppy at times in the first-quarter, Leinster subsequently regained firm control of the contest. Ed Byrne capped his 10th provincial start with a brace of five-pointers, before Reid’s second of the half propelled the holders into a 24-12 interval cushion.

Despite already having a bonus point wrapped up, there was still some work to do before Leinster could be assured of their 14th win of the campaign.

Ulrich Beyers’ 43rd-minute score provided the South African outfit with a semblance of hope, only for the Blues to fire back in devastating fashion.

Barry Daly latched onto a Ross Byrne off-load to claim the 19th try of his professional career, while Andrew Porter – released from Ireland duty for this game – also dotted down at the end of an extended move.

A 64th-minute replacement for Hugh O’Sullivan, scrum-half Paddy Patterson made it a home debut to remember when he crossed the whitewash in the closing moments. With Max Deegan and Rory O’Loughlin rounding off intricate attacks either side of this effort – and Ross Byrne amassing 14 points off the kicking tee – Leinster eased themselves over the line.

Scorers

Leinster

Tries: Noel Reid 2, Ed Byrne 2, Barry Daly, Andrew Porter, Max Deegan, Paddy Patterson, Rory O’Loughlin

Conversions: Ross Byrne [7/9]

Southern Kings

Tries: Bjorn Basson, Sarel Pretorius, Ulrich Beyers

Conversions: Bader Pretorius [2/3]

Leinster: Barry Daly (Jimmy O’Brien ’59); Fergus McFadden, Conor O’Brien, Noel Reid (Rory O’Loughlin ’51), James Lowe; Ross Byrne, Hugh O’Sullivan (Paddy Patterson ’64); Ed Byrne (Peter Dooley ‘56, Ronan Kelleher (James Tracy ’56), Andrew Porter (Vakh Abdaladze ’56); Ross Molony (Scott Fardy ’74), Mick Kearney (Jack Dunne ’42); Josh Murphy, Max Deegan, Caelan Doris.

Southern Kings: Ulrich Beyers (Masixole Banda ’57); Yaw Penxe, Meli Rokoua, Berton Klaasen (Tertius Kruger ’58), Bjorn Basson; Bader Pretorius, Sarel Pretorius (Stefan Ungerer ’63); Alulutho Tshakweni (Schalk Ferreira ’56), Michael Willemse (Alandre Van Rooyen ’65), De-Jay Terblanche (Pieter Scholtz ’56); Stephan Greeff (John-Charles Astle ’11 (Andisa Ntsila ’31-‘38)), Andries Van Schalkwyk; Henry Brown, Martinus Burger, Ruaan Lerm (Andisa Ntsila ’52).

Daire Walsh

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U20 Six Nations Championship Preview: Italy V Ireland – The Irish Examiner – February 22 2019

Ireland must beware of ‘quality’ Azzurri scrum

Daire Walsh

Despite being odds-on favourites to extend their winning start to the Six Nations, Ireland U20s scrum coach Ambrose Conboy believes the biggest physical test of the tournament awaits them in Rieti this evening [kick-off 6pm, Irish time].

Following back-to-back triumphs over England and Scotland, the table-toppers will look to cement their position in a round three encounter with Italy at Stadio Centro d’Italia.

The Azzurri enter this contest on the back of a heavy reversal to Wales, but the work being done on the nation’s underage systems means Conboy is wary of their challenge.

“Their underage structure is always competitive. Whether it’s 18s, 19s or 20s.

“The FIR have put a lot of work and investment into that.

“The last three [Ireland] games against them, they were one score games in the end,” the Galway man stated.

“They’re going to be physical, they’re going to be maulers. They’re going to be real quality scrummagers. As far as I’m concerned, it’s going to be probably a bigger scrummaging challenge than England. Not because of mass, but because of cohesiveness and the technical abilities of them.”

The Irish pack has, so far, answered every question posed to them and it therefore comes as little surprise that they are unchanged for a third game in succession.

The skill levels of the front-row was a notable feature of their wins to date, though Conboy stresses the importance of the set-piece to their continued success.

“I think Josh Wycherley has been very good for us and Michael Milne. The day is gone where it’s just one task, but it still comes back to their ability. All front-rows will be judged on their fundamental ability to be able to scrummage.

“Anything beyond that is a bonus in a roundabout way, but thankfully these guys have worked on a lot of their skillset all the way through.”

Conboy and head coach Noel McNamara will be hoping they can provide the clean ball that will allow the likes of Harry Byrne and skipper David Hawkshaw to dictate on the night.

The one frustration to arise from the Scotland game was the lack of a bonus point, which makes the return of vice-captain Craig Casey and Ulster’s Angus Kernohan all the more timely.

Casey’s inclusion at scrum-half brings to five the number of Munster players within the Irish starting line-up.

Posted in U20 Six Nations Rugby | Comments Off on U20 Six Nations Championship Preview: Italy V Ireland – The Irish Examiner – February 22 2019

School Sports Star Of The Week: Sean O Cuanaigh (Colaiste Eoin): The Evening Herald – February 21 2019

STAR OF THE WEEK

Seán Ó Cuanaigh (Coláiste Eoin)

IT was another memorable occasion for Coláiste Eoin last Friday in Abbotstown, where the Booterstown school defended their Dublin Junior ‘A’ Football Championship title with an accomplished victory over Maynooth SS.

Courtesy of an early goal by Seán Ó Cuanaigh, the southsiders hit the ground running at the National Games Development Centre. The dynamic Ó Cuanaigh captained the team from full-forward and delivered an excellent all-round performance to keep Maynooth at bay.

Posted in Schools GAA | Comments Off on School Sports Star Of The Week: Sean O Cuanaigh (Colaiste Eoin): The Evening Herald – February 21 2019

Leinster Schools Senior ‘A’ Hurling Championship Final Preview: The Evening Herald – February 21 2019

GAELIC GAMES: LEINSTER SENIOR ‘A’ HURLING CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL PREVIEW

Daunting decider for Booterstown boys against St Kieran’s

Daire Walsh

THEY have been remarkably successful at both codes in recent seasons and Coláiste Eoin are now on the verge of a historic triumph at O’Moore Park, Portlaoise on Sunday.

Thanks to their gutsy semi-final win over Kilkenny CBS on February 10, the Gaelscoil have reached their maiden Leinster Schools Senior ‘A’ Hurling Championship decider (throw-in 12pm). Top-tier provincial victories have been few and far between for Dublin schools, with the county’s representative sides providing the greatest joy in recent seasons.

Dublin North claimed last year’s crown – preceding the 2001 and 2008 titles for the combined colleges. You have to go back to 1954 for the last time a school from the capital emerged with top honours – when O’Connell CBS had the measure of Mount St Joseph, Roscrea.

Eoin have developed a significant pedigree en route to this year’s final. They previously defeated CBS in the opening round and had 10 points (3-12 to 0-11) to spare over North in their subsequent meeting.

Yet, they remain outsiders against 55-time champions St Kieran’s College. Having relinquished their crown in 2018, the All-Ireland champions had too much fire power for Dublin North in the last-four.

They have two Leinster Senior ‘A’ Football Championships to their name, but a victory this weekend would undoubtedly eclipse those achievements for Coláiste Eoin.

Posted in Schools GAA | Comments Off on Leinster Schools Senior ‘A’ Hurling Championship Final Preview: The Evening Herald – February 21 2019

Leinster Schools Juvenile ‘A’ Hurling League Round-Ups: The Evening Herald – February 21 2019

GAELIC GAMES: LEINSTER JUV ‘A’ HURLING LEAGUE

Mixed fortunes for Dublin sides in opening round

Daire Walsh

THERE were mixed fortunes for Dublin’s representative sides in the opening round of the Leinster Schools Juvenile ‘A’ Hurling League last week.

Whereas Dublin South recorded a magnificent 3-21 to 0-6 success against Kilkenny CBS on Thursday, Dublin North suffered a narrow away reversal to St Kieran’s College a day later (1-9 to 2-10).

With a significant wind at their backs, South led 1-13 to 0-2 during the interval of their visit to CBS.

In addition to Conor Brennan’s impressive 2-2 haul over the hour, Joey Dunne posted five points from midfield. Patrick Fitzgerald, Ross Mallarkey, Conor Cleary and Cian Manning also impressed, but the icing on the cake was provided by sub Stephen Pullen’s third goal for a clinical South outfit.

Their northside counterparts met holders Kieran’s in enemy territory and made then work for their eventual win. Con Rock and Tadhg Gorman picked off some fine scores in the first half, which also saw Castleknock’s Adam Kelly rattling the back of the Kieran’s net.

They were still five adrift at the midway point, and even though Sean Doyle, Gorman and Rock dramatically reduced their deficit, Kieran’s responded with a pivotal second goal. North kept battling until the bitter end, though, with powerful performances by Conor Dolan, Dylan Clarke and Joey Kinnane offering a great deal of encouragement.

Posted in Schools GAA | Comments Off on Leinster Schools Juvenile ‘A’ Hurling League Round-Ups: The Evening Herald – February 21 2019

Dublin Schools Junior ‘A’ Football Championship Final: Colaiste Eoin V Maynooth SS – The Evening Herald – February 21 2019

GAELIC GAMES – DUBLIN U16 ‘A’ FC FINAL: COLAISTE EOIN 1-15 MAYNOOTH CC 0-12

EOIN MAKE THE GRADE

Defending champs keep hold of title despite seeing red

Daire Walsh

COLAISTE Eoin defended their Dublin Schools Junior ‘A’ Football Championship crown in style at the National Games Development Centre in Abbotstown last Friday afternoon.

Despite losing defensive lynchpin Rian Ó Maoileoin to a second yellow card on 25 minutes, the Booterstown outfit emerged with six points to spare over Maynooth Secondary School. They now progress to a Leinster ‘B’ semi-final against Knockbeg College on Tuesday.

EMPHATIC

Following an emphatic victory against St Aidan’s CBS in last year’s decider, the Gaelscoil were always the safe bet to retain the U16 title. They were put to the pin of their collar in last month’s semi-final with St Benildus College – eventually securing the slenderest of wins (2-10 to 2-9) at the end of a compelling encounter.

Maynooth were appearing in their very first Junior ‘A’ decider, having produced a committed display to deny Aidan’s at the penultimate stage.

Facing into a slight breeze during the opening period, Eoin enjoyed an ideal start to the contest.

Templeogue Synge Street’s Seán Ó Cuanaigh led the team at full-forward and he batted a long delivery to the Maynooth net. The subsequent dismissal of Ó Maoileoin was undoubtedly a set-back for Eoin, who included eight Ballinteer St John’s players in their squad.

Nonetheless, with Barra Ó Donnchú registering a brace of inspirational points, they brought a 1-4 to 0-5 advantage into the break. Although the elements weren’t in their favour, Maynooth’s counter-attacking style ensured they remained in the hunt.

The 36th-minute introduction of Jack Ó Rodaigh injected fresh life into the Eoin challenge, however. He won three frees in consecutive fashion, all of which resulted in points for centre-forward Luke Breathnach.

Mikey Mac Mahúna and Charlie Ó Maoilmheana also entered the fray as the half developed, making a strong contribution to their side’s increased dominance.

Maynooth attempted a spirited rally in the final quarter, only for Ó Cuanaigh and Ó Donnchú to thwart their advances. Seán Ó Drisceoil was a commanding presence at wing-back, while midfielder Oisín Ó Grádaigh chipped with a series of scores to keep his team in the driving seat.

Coláiste Eoin stuck diligently to their task throughout and ultimately sealed their fourth success at this grade in a comprehensive manner.

Posted in Schools GAA | Comments Off on Dublin Schools Junior ‘A’ Football Championship Final: Colaiste Eoin V Maynooth SS – The Evening Herald – February 21 2019

U20 Six Nations Championship Build-Up To Italy Away: Jonathan Wren – Irishrugby.ie – February 21 2019

Earls The Inspiration For Ambitious Winger Wren

By Daire Walsh

After missing out on the open training session at the Aviva Stadium, Ireland Under-20 winger Jonathan Wren is back in harness for tomorrow night’s U-20 Six Nations showdown with Italy in Rieti (kick-off 7pm local time/6pm Irish time). The game will be streamed live on the Irish Rugby YouTube channel, with thanks to PwC Ireland.

The Crosshaven native was held back from last Friday’s work-out with Joe Schmidt’s senior squad as a precaution, but has retained his place for the Italy match. This will be his third consecutive start on the left wing, following the opening two victories over England in his native Cork and Scotland in Galashiels.

“I was actually being managed last week. I wasn’t in that session. It would have been a good run-out. I watched a bit of it, it looked like a great session,” explained Wren, who has Jake Flannery and the returning Angus Kernohan for company in the back-three tomorrow.

“I had shin splints for a large part of this season. They watch my load at the start of the week, so I would kinda be going towards the end of the week without too much pain. It’s great, it’s coming right now.”

Having shaken off a hamstring injury, Ulster winger Kernohan will make his first appearance of the tournament. He is the player in Noel McNamara’s U-20 ranks with the most big-game experience, having made his 13th senior appearance for the province against the Ospreys in Bridgend last Friday.

By contrast, the past few weeks has been a steep learning curve for Wren who is in his first year out of PBC Cork. He admitted: “The England game was definitely the most physical game I have ever played, without a doubt. It’s a huge step up even just straight out of school and the pace of the game and everything.

“It’s just a huge step up. There is so much detail that goes into everything that when you were watching the matches last year, you would never realise the amount of work that goes into it.”

That bonus point triumph over England, which was followed by another successful outing away to Scotland, was a particularly special night for Wren. Following several seasons in Dubarry Park and Donnybrook, the Ireland U-20s’ home matches were switched to Irish Independent Park for the 2019 campaign.

Although he is focused on Italy for the time being, Wren is excited about the prospect of facing France on the Leeside in round four, saying: “We take it a game at a time. We will focus all our time this week on Italy and obviously for me, I would be looking forward to getting back to Cork. It was a great atmosphere (for the England game). If we can get through this week, we will push on then.”

It is becoming a season of firsts for Wren in an Ireland jersey. Not only did he make his international bow on the opening weekend of the Championship, he also grabbed a fleet-footed and very well-taken first try at this level in the 24-5 success against Scotland at Netherdale.

He agreed: “I was delighted with that. I got an opportunity. It was a very tight and physical game, so we didn’t get a lot of ball out the backs or use the full width a lot. But when we did, we did some damage. It was a tight enough game for most of it.”

It was while in Presentation College in Cork that Wren first came to prominence. Amidst the various highs and lows that come with playing schools rugby at the highest level, the Munster Senior Cup title win two years is understandably his standout memory.

“We won it in 2017 and that was great but we missed out two years in the semi-final so there were ups and downs. It was up in Thomond Park. It was a great experience. We beat Glenstal (Abbey) in the final. They went on to win it then the next year, though.

“Paul Barr, Brian McMahon and Ger Burke, they are all great coaches. I had them with the senior team and I actually had some of them in Junior Cup as well so I had them the whole way up.”

When he is not on international duty, Wren divides him time between Munster’s base in Limerick and his club side Cork Con, the current All-Ireland League Division 1A leaders. There are no shortage of role models in either set-up, but one man sticks out above all others for the talented teenager.

“I am in the Academy down in Munster. It’s good, I’m traveling up and down from Cork. I am playing with Cork Con, but yeah we are fully based in Limerick. I travel down on Thursday nights for club training.

“Keith Earls has been there for how many years now? I have always looked up to him. He’s a great player. Just so skilful. Even things that not everyone notices like the grass cover (in the back-field). His decision making is great.”

Posted in U20 Six Nations Rugby | Comments Off on U20 Six Nations Championship Build-Up To Italy Away: Jonathan Wren – Irishrugby.ie – February 21 2019

Women’s Six Nations Championship Build-Up To Italy Away: Claire Boles – Irishrugby.ie – February 21 2019

Boles Hungry For More After Back Row Bow

By Daire Walsh

Following a memorable debut in the last round, young flanker Claire Boles is hopeful that the Ireland Women’s can make it two Six Nations wins on the bounce against Italy in Parma on Saturday (kick-off 7pm local time/6pm Irish time).

A prominent member of the Ireland Sevens programme in recent seasons, Boles was called into the Women’s 15s squad by Adam Griggs in December. She played the final 20 minutes of the recent bonus point victory away to Scotland, deputising for one of the team’s leading lights, Claire Molloy, in the back row.

“It was definitely an important game for us,” reflected the 20-year-old. “It was kinda like win or nothing, if you know what I mean? We had to bounce back, but it was a tough one to come back from (the England defeat). The girls dug deep, definitely, and put in a very good performance against Scotland.

“I really enjoyed it and it was good to get the win on the debut. In the camp there’s good vibes and obviously because we were off this weekend, we can’t wait to get back and play Italy.”

For Saturday’s game at Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi in Parma, Ireland will measure up against the Championship’s meanest defence on current form. Second-placed Italy have leaked just 10 points in their two games to date and lie three points adrift of pace-setting England.

Despite the growing confidence within the camp, Boles is under no illusions about the task that awaits them, saying: “Italy did beat Scotland as well, so we’ll have to be prepared. It’s going to be a tough match. They definitely move the ball quick and they’re good at executing. They’re good in possession, so they hold onto it. Our defence will definitely have to be up to the test.”

Having featured at the Dubai Invitational Sevens in November when she was joined by five of her Railway Union club-mates, Boles continues to have a foot in both Ireland camps. As well as juggling the two codes, the Enniskillen youngster also has to factor her college commitments as a third year student of chemical engineering in UCD.

“(I’m) balancing it (college) with a bit of everything. I’m in third year. Nearly there, over halfway anyway. I’m doing a bit of both (codes). The 15s will have camp at the weekends and then I’ll be doing Sevens during the week. It’s just a bit of load management, how much you do.

“15s is obviously 80 minutes and Sevens you’re only playing 14. Sevens is more high speed, fitness and 15s is a lot of endurance. You’re running for a long period of time. It’s still good to have your base line fitness there.”

Boles’ own rugby journey began at Enniskillen RFC, although she tried her hand at a number of sports before concentrating solely on the oval ball. The Fermanagh club is one of the fastest growing in the province of Ulster, with a number of the players currently making waves on the provincial and international scenes.

Boles is joined in the international set-up by Kathryn Dane, the scrum-half who made her debut against England and is set for her first start against the Italians. The are now rivals on Dublin’s southside with Dane plying her trade with Old Belvedere and Boles at Railway Union.

Ulster Academy star Robert Baloucoune (pictured below with Claire and IRFU President Ian McIlrath) is someone that Boles knows well from her time in the Sevens programme, while Will Addison has also linked up with Enniskillen Rugby Club – it is his mother’s hometown – since his summer arrival at Kingspan Stadium.

Boles explained: “Within Enniskillen Collegiate I played Tag and then one of the coaches came in from the rugby club, so I joined. I was playing Under-16s with them and i just moved up to U-18s. I played a bit of everything in school. Netball, hockey, a bit of soccer. Everything really. I was always sporty. Rugby felt more natural. I just loved the game really. I just kept going.

“For 15s I would have just played club and then underage at province. It was definitely a different experience. I’m used to it kinda with the Sevens, but it’s a completely different set-up. Rob is doing really well in Ulster. He played in the men’s team (in Enniskillen) and then went to Ulster, but he played a bit of Sevens as well there last season.”

During her time as a Sevens player, Boles has had the opportunity to visit some exotic locations around the globe. She also enjoyed an extended spell on the Gold Coast last summer, lining out for Bond University. This has become a regular venture for Irish players in recent years and Boles believes it helped to expand her horizons – both and off the rugby field.

“I was over there playing with Bond University in the Aon University Sevens. It was a very good experience. I played with a University team and then different Australian players were spread out in the different Universities, so we got really good experience. It was high quality rugby,” she added.

“It was me, Stacey Flood and Katie Heffernan. I’d never been to that part before. I go to a lot of places. I’ve always wanted to discover the world and you can definitely do that with Sevens. We were in Colorado there in September and Dubai. They’re unbelievable places.”

Posted in Women's Rugby | Comments Off on Women’s Six Nations Championship Build-Up To Italy Away: Claire Boles – Irishrugby.ie – February 21 2019

U20 Six Nations Championship Build-Up To Italy Away: Jonathan Wren – The Irish Examiner – February 21 2019

U20 Six Nations: The devil is in the detail, stresses Wren

Daire Walsh

After missing out on last week’s open training session at the Aviva Stadium, Ireland U20 winger Jonathan Wren is back in harness for tomorrow night’s Six Nations showdown against Italy (kick-off 6pm, Irish time).

The Crosshaven native was held back from the workout with Joe Schmidt’s senior squad as a precaution, but has retained his place for the visit to Rieti.

“I was actually being managed last week. I wasn’t in that session. It would have been a good run out. I watched a bit of it, it looked like a great session,” Wren explained.

“I had shin splints for a large part of this season. They watch my load at the start of the week, so I would kind of be going towards the end of the week without too much pain. It’s great, it’s coming right now.”

The Cork Constitution winger has been included in the back three alongside Shannon’s Jake Flannery and Angus Kernohan — who will make his first appearance of the tournament. The Ulster man is undoubtedly the most experienced player within Noel McNamara’s ranks, having recently made his 13th senior appearance for the northern province.

By contrast, it has been a steep learning curve for Wren in his first year out of secondary school.

“The England game was definitely the most physical game I have ever played. It’s a huge step up even just straight out of school and the pace of the game and everything,” the former Presentation College student remarked.

“There is so much detail that goes into everything that when you were watching the matches last year, you would never realise the amount of work that goes into it.”

That opening round triumph over England (which was followed by another successful outing away to Scotland) was particularly special for Wren. Following several seasons in Donnybrook, Ireland’s home matches were switched to Musgrave Park for the 2019 campaign.

Although he is focused on Italy for the time being, Wren is excited about the prospect of facing France on the Leeside in round four.

“We take it a game at a time. We will focus all our time this week on Italy and obviously for me, I would be looking forward to getting back to Cork.

“It was a great atmosphere [for the England game]. If we can get through this week, we will push on then,” Wren added.

Aside from Kernohan’s inclusion at the expense of Conor Philips, the only other alteration to the starting line-up sees Craig Casey replacing Cormac Foley at scrum-half. Four players are in line to make their competitive debuts, most notably Munster hooker Billy Scannell — younger brother of Niall and Rory.

Posted in U20 Six Nations Rugby | Comments Off on U20 Six Nations Championship Build-Up To Italy Away: Jonathan Wren – The Irish Examiner – February 21 2019

Women’s Six Nations Championship Build-Up To Italy Away: Adam Griggs – The Irish Examiner – February 21 2019

Women’s Six Nations: Griggs keeps faith with winning side

Daire Walsh

Ireland Women’s head coach Adam Griggs has kept changes at a minimum for their Six Nations Championship showdown with Italy at Viale Piacenza in Parma on Saturday (kick-off 6.45pm, Irish time).

Following a brace of appearances off the bench to date, Kathryn Dane replaces Ailsa Hughes at scrum-half. The Enniskillen native made her debut in the heavy opening round defeat to England at Donnybrook. She will link up alongside Nicole Fowley at half-back, is the only alteration from the 22-5 triumph over Scotland two weeks ago.

Sene Naoupu and Michelle Claffey are paired in midfield for the fifth game in succession, while Lauren Delany, Eimear Considine, and Alison Miller stay in the back three.

Claire Molloy has shaken off the quad issue that led to her withdrawal in the Scotland game and takes her place in an unchanged pack.

Lindsay Peat is joined amongst the replacements by UL Bohemian trio Deirbhile Nic a Bhaird, Fiona Reidy, and Laura Sheehan.

After getting their campaign up and running in Glasgow, Griggs is hopeful of a repeat against unbeaten Italy.

“It was great to come away with five points after the Scotland test. It was a physical game in tough conditions, but the players were focused on putting in a good team performance together and showing the quality rugby they can produce,” Griggs said.

“We were pleased with the opportunities that we created and while the challenge for this group is to become even more clinical under pressure, we definitely feel each week we are improving and taking the right steps to get there.

 

“The Italian game should be a cracker. They have played well of late and are unbeaten so far in this championship which isn’t easy to do. We have been preparing diligently and know they have quality footballers that will put you under real pressure. We will need to be aware of these and look to close them down early if we are to get any success.”

IRELAND: L Delany; E Considine, S Naoupu, M Claffey, A Miller; N Fowley, K Dane; L Feely, E Hooban, L Lyons; A McDermott, N Fryday; A Caplice, C Molloy, C Griffin.

Replacements: D Nic a Bhaird, L Peat, F Ready, C Boles, C McLaughlin, A Hughes, E Murphy, L Sheehan.

Posted in Women's Rugby | Comments Off on Women’s Six Nations Championship Build-Up To Italy Away: Adam Griggs – The Irish Examiner – February 21 2019