Sunday 16 June 2019

Blues eye Interpro finale with Munster after bonus-point victory

Leinster's Nikki Caughey. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Leinster's Nikki Caughey. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile newsdesk

Leinster and defending champions Munster will meet in another winner-takes-all finale to the IRFU Women's Interprovincial Championship in Donnybrook on Saturday (kick-off 7.30pm), following their big bonus point victories in Galway and Portadown yesterday.

The arch rivals are level on nine points with Leinster, who crushed Connacht 47-0 at the Sportsground, top of the table on scoring difference (+64 compared to Munster's +37). Blues head coach Ben Armstrong praised their watertight defence afterwards.

With his Leinster side yet to concede a point after two rounds, the Australian said: "It's something the girls identified during the week. They celebrated more for a turnover down in the corner than the tries we were scoring. It's something we're aiming to do and something we'd like to keep going into the Munster match."

Powerful Ireland prop Lindsay Peat crashed over for two first-half tries, one of them an intercept, and Michelle Claffey and Hannah O'Connor also touched down. Connacht lacked accuracy at key times and Juliet Short, with her third of the competition, Jeamie Deacon and 17-point out-half Nikki Caughey (right) completed the Leinster rout.

Meanwhile, co-captain Chloe Pearse used a dominant scrum to bag a brace of tries in Munster's 40-20 success away to Ulster. Niamh Briggs converted her own try for a 15-point personal haul, while Ulster battled for a bonus point thanks to closing five-pointers from recent new cap Fiona Tuite and Claire McLaughlin.

While pleased with the set-piece and stranglehold of possession, Munster coachLaura Guest said: "Some errors from the previous week were fixed today but we also need to make sure that we click, rather than missing 10 minutes here or there in a half."

Meanwhile, Ireland men's sevens team won their first Rugby Europe Grand Prix Series title after dominating the final tournament of the series with six wins out of six in the Polish city of Lodz.

Anthony Eddy's men, who were runners-up last year on their debut, finished in fine style with a 35-5 final victory over Germany to be crowned champions.

Irish Independent

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