Gritty victory keeps Ireland in hunt for Grand Slam
Wales Women 7-12 Ireland Women
Ireland Women stayed in the hunt for a Six Nations Grand Slam with a gritty victory over Wales. Tries in either half from prop Lindsay Peat and wing Hannah Tyrrell did the damage for the visitors as they made it four wins from four in the tournament.
They remain unbeaten and will face England in their final game full of confidence. After Wales paid tribute to international Elli Norkett, who was tragically killed in a car crash last month, it was the home side who started the better.
But Ireland slowly grew into the game, with forwards Sophie Spence and Claire Molloy standing out. A line break from centre Jenny Murphy then gave Ireland some field position, one of few clear-cut chances for either side.
There remained little between the teams, and it took until the 38th minute for the game's first score. Ireland won a penalty, Nora Stapleton kicking to the corner, and Peat crossing from the driving lineout. Stapleton added the extras to make it 7-0 at the break.
Peat turned from hero to zero at the start of the second half as she was yellow-carded for slowing down Welsh ball. It allowed Shona Powell-Hughes to reach and cross from close range, Robyn Wilkins' conversion levelling the scores at 7-7.
It was Wales who were then forced to play with 14 after Amy Evans saw yellow. Prop Evans was rightly penalised for a high shot on Ireland full-back Kim Flood and it allowed the visitors to get back into things. Tom Tierney's team dominated territory and possession and were twice held up over the line, while Ireland also had a score ruled out by the TMO.
The pressure finally cracked though as Stapleton spread the ball wide to Tyrrell, who scored in the corner. The conversion was missed, but Ireland deserved to come out on top as they set up a title decider with England in Dublin on Saturday.
Scorers - Wales: Powell-Hughes try; Wilkins con. Ireland: Peat try, Tyrrell try; Stapleton con.
Wales: Hywel; E Evans (Rowland, 63), Lake, De Filippo (Snowshill, 56), Taviner; Wilkins, Bevan (Parker, 72); Thomas, Phillips (capt) (L Harries, 68), A Evans (Pyrs, 72), Rowe (Lillicrap, 53), Clay, S Harries (Hale, 55-63), Taylor, Powell-Hughes (Butchers, 63).
Ireland: Flood; Tyrrell, Murphy (Caughey, 72), Naoupu, Miller; Stapleton, Healy (Muldoon, 41); Peat, Lyons, Egan (O'Reilly, 68), Spence, Reilly (Cooney, 72), Griffin, Molloy, Fitzpatrick (capt) (van Staden, 42-50).
Sunday Indo Sport