Wales 0 Ireland 45
IRELAND Women began their Six Nations campaign with a bang as they demolished a very poor Wales side in Cardiff.
Cork's Emily Lane and Enya Breen were among the subs as Adam Griggs' side were superior in every aspect of play, with their physicality and pace out wide far too much for Wales to deal with.
Both sides lack the resources of professional England or part-time France but Ireland are clearly the best of the rest and were several levels better than their hosts at the Arms Park.
This may have been the visitors’ first test match for well over a year but there were no signs of rustiness as they started strongly. An incisive break from outside-half Hannah Tyrrell put the visitors deep in the Wales 22, with the ball recycled for Eimear Considine to score.
Wales had no answer to the intensity of their visitors with Ireland wing Parsons crossing for two tries in the space of four minutes. It’s unlikely you’ll see a better individual try than her first all championship as she brushed off a weak tackle from Wales full-back Robyn Wilkins, before showing great pace to run in unopposed from 50 metres out.
Her second score was far simpler as she was found unmarked by Tyrrell who executed a brilliant cross kick for Parsons to ground the ball. Wales’ defence was extremely poor as Ireland’s strike runners breached it almost at will.
And full-back Eimear Considine effectively jogged past five Welsh defenders before turning inside to score their third which put her side 24-0 up after a mere 20 minutes. Powerful inside centre Sene Naoupu scored their fifth try as she crashed over from short range before Lindsay Peat had a try disallowed meaning the visitors led 31-0 lead at the interval.
Wales were a bit more stubborn in the second half but Ireland’s pack ensured the visitors dominated territory and possession. To their credit the hosts refused to throw in the towel and there were no scorers either way in the third quarter of the game, as Warren Abrahams side showed some pride at least. Ireland took their foot off the gas in the second half and didn’t have the same fluidity as they had in the first forty minutes of this test match.
Aoife McDermott thought she had scored Ireland’s first try of the second-half after powering over from short range but upon referring the decision to the television match official the try was disallowed as the grounding was short. But they didn’t have to wait long as blindside flanker Dorothy Wall showed tremendous strength to smash her way over the line at the far left-hand corner, after a period of sustained pressure from the visitors.
And Tyrrell scampered over for Ireland in the last play of the game.