Monday 23 September 2019

Ireland women eager to deliver a powerful scrum performance

Scotland v Ireland, Live, RTÉ 2, 7.35

Ireland women's head coach Adam Griggs. Photo: Sportsfile
Ireland women's head coach Adam Griggs. Photo: Sportsfile
Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

Amid the bitter disappointment of being thumped at home, there was a ray of light in how the Ireland scrum managed to get the upper hand on England.

It wasn't near enough to fire a shot at a powerful English outfit but against Scotland this evening Ireland will be desperate to bounce back in a game that is very win-able.

Scotland were also humbled in their opener as they went down to Italy and while Mike Ross believes they will not be short of motivation, Ireland's scrum coach has identified a key area where his side can target the Scots.

"We always think we can go after the scrum," the former Ireland tighthead insisted.

"Scotland lost unexpectedly to Italy last week, so that's something I wasn't expecting to look at. We definitely want to get back on track and get a win over there.

"We'll both be hurting after our respective results, but I hope we'll want it more."

There will be a big onus on hooker Emma Hooban to help maintain Ireland's solid scrum as Leah Lyons switches across to tighthead. Lindsay Peat again misses out through injury.

"I'll always sleep well when the scrum goes well," Ross maintained.

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"We have worked on it for a while now and the girls really buy into what I want to do. I am kind of handing over ownership to them now to drive the standards and I'm just keeping an eye on it.

"I have been pretty pleased with how that is going but at the same time, losing 51-7 to England at home is not the result that we wanted.

"I think we have taken some of the good work that was done beforehand and built upon it. We have an attitude with the scrum that it's not just a method to reset and get the ball back into play.

"It's a way you can stamp your physical dominance upon the opponent and use it as a weapon."

Ali Miller will provide some X factor on the wing, while Michelle Claffey and Sene Naoupu add pace and power to midfield.

Ireland feel like they have been making strides under head coach Adam Griggs - now is the time to prove that they have by delivering a winning performance.

Verdict: Ireland

Scotland - C Rollie; L Musgrove, H Smith, L Thompson (capt), A Sergeant; H Nelson, M Grieve; L Cockburn, L Skeldon, M Kennedy; E Wassell, D McCormack; R Malcolm, R McLachlan, S Bonar. Reps: J Rettie, K Dougan, M Forsyth, S Anderson, N Howat, S Law, L Martin, R Lloyd.

Ireland - L Delany; E Considine, S Naoupu, M Claffey, A Miller; N Fowley, A Hughes; L Feely, E Hooban, L Lyons; A McDermott, N Fryday; A Caplice, C Molloy, C Griffin (capt). Reps: D Nic A Bhaird, J Djougang, F Reidy, C Boles, C McLaughlin, K Dane, E Murphy, M Williams.

Irish Independent

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