Saturday 29 April 2017

Murphy snatches bonus for Ireland in smash 'n' grab raid

Scotland 15-22 Ireland

Claire Molloy of Ireland is tackled by Louise McMillan of Scotland Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Claire Molloy of Ireland is tackled by Louise McMillan of Scotland Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

John Fallon

Ireland maintained their 100 per cent record over Scotland in the Women's Six Nations - but only thanks to a last-gasp try from Jenny Murphy.

The super Irish centre struck in the final play of the night to snatch victory and break Scottish hearts at Broadwood Stadium outside Glasgow.

Ireland's Alison Miller tackled by Megan Gaffney of Scotland Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Ireland's Alison Miller tackled by Megan Gaffney of Scotland Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

It was rough justice on a Scottish side who had suffered ten straight losses to Ireland - including a 73-3 rout at this venue two years ago which sealed the title for the Irish - but they were unable to close out the deal.

Tom Tierney's side never gave up and were rewarded in the dying moments just when it seemed it would finish all square but Murphy got in for Ireland's fourth try to secure a first ever bonus point for an Irish side in the Six Nations.

But it was the Scots who deservedly led 15-10 at the break thanks to a couple of tries from Scotland's only full-time professional Jade Konkel, who impressed throughout.

The superb passing of debutant scrum-half Ailsa Hughes gave Ireland a foothold and Sene Naoupu crowned her birthday this weekend with Ireland's opening try after 11 minutes when she finished a good move in the left corner.

Ireland players Ciara Griffin, left, and Sene Naoupu celebrate after the match Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Ireland players Ciara Griffin, left, and Sene Naoupu celebrate after the match Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Ireland's dominant scrum gave them an edge and quick ball to the left was finished by Alison Miller after 23 minutes.

But Scotland went back in front eight minutes from the break when Konkel got her second from another drive, with Sarah Law's penalty pushing them 15-10 ahead at the interval.

Ireland stepped up a gear after the restart and good pressure saw Scottish tighthead Lindsey Smith binned and when Ireland went to the right corner they got the drive off the lineout and loosehead Lindsey Peat got the touchdown to level the match.

The sides remained deadlocked from there at 15-15 but just when it seemed a first ever draw between them was on the cards, Ireland drove forward and when a lineout penalty was repelled, they tapped and went and after replacement prop Ciara O'Connor was stopped, Mary Healy spread it quickly and Murphy crashed over for the winner.

Scotland - C Rollie; M Gaffney, L Thomson, L Martin, R Lloyd; H Nelson, S Law (J Maxwell 62); T Balmer (H Lockhart 67), R Malcolm (L Park 38), L Smith; E Wassell, D McCormack (S Bonar 62); K Dunbar, L McMillan, J Konkel (K Dougan 60-62).

Ireland - M Coyne; N Kavanagh (E Considine 40), J Murphy, S Naoupu, A Miller; N Stapleton, A Hughes (M Healy 69); L Peat (I van Staden 71), L Lyons (J Finlay 71), A Egan (C O Connor 71); O Fitzsimons (E Anthony 40), ML Reilly; C Griffin, C Molloy, P Fitzpatrick.

Ref - A Barrett-Theron (South Africa)

Irish Independent

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