Thursday 24 August 2017

Tierney seeks winning start for the long road ahead

Ireland women's coach Tom Tierney (SPORTSFILE)
Ireland women's coach Tom Tierney (SPORTSFILE)
Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

It says a lot about the state of women's rugby in Scotland that Ireland's opponents this evening were beaten by Spain in a World Cup qualifier recently.

Five defeats, 146 points conceded and just four tries scored in last season's Six Nations won't exactly inspire confidence, but Ireland won't take them for granted as they look to get their campaign - and indeed a massive year - off to a winning start.

Ireland's own form has been patchy since the Six Nations but the level of opposition that they faced in November was of a much higher standard than the Scots.

Nevertheless, with so much coming down the line, there will be a few players with a point to prove tonight.

Depth

There are five uncapped players in the match-day squad which is indicative of Tom Tierney's desire to build a squad with enough depth to compete for the Six Nations and the World Cup in August.

"Those players have performed really well in camps, so now it's their chance to transfer what they've been doing in training into the international arena," Tierney said.

Ireland had no problem seeing off Scotland last season as they put 45 points on their hapless opponents and flying winger Alison Miller will be hoping to add to the hat-trick that she scored in Dublin that day.

This evening marks the first step in an exciting journey for Ireland - starting on the right note will set them up nicely.

Verdict: Ireland

Scotland Women - C Rollie; M Gaffney, L Thomson, L Martin (capt), R Lloyd; H Nelson, S Law; T Balmer, R Malcolm, L Smith; E Wassell, D McCormack; K Dunbar, L McMillan, J Konkel. Reps: L Park, H Lockhart, K Duggan, S Bonar, J Forsyth, J Maxwell, L Harris, E Sinclair.

Ireland Women - M Coyne; N Kavanagh, J Murphy, S Naoupu, A Miller; N Stapleton, A Hughes; L Peat, L Lyons, A Egan; O Fitzsimons, M-L Reilly; C Griffin, C Molloy, P Fitzpatrick (capt). Reps: J Finlay, I van Staden, C O'Connor, E Anthony, N Fryday, M Healy, C McLaughlin, E Considine.

Scotland Women v Ireland Women, Live, RTE 2, 6.30

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