Wednesday 18 September 2019

Irish campaign ends with a whimper after comprehensive Wales defeat

Wales 24 Ireland 5

Ireland’s wing Beibhinn Parsons is tackled by Wales’s Jasmine Joyce during yesterday’s Six Nations clash at Cardiff Arms Park. Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images
Ireland’s wing Beibhinn Parsons is tackled by Wales’s Jasmine Joyce during yesterday’s Six Nations clash at Cardiff Arms Park. Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Alex Bywater

Ireland Women had a St Patrick's Day to forget as they ended an underwhelming Six Nations campaign with a 24-5 defeat to Wales.

Just a day after Joe Schmidt's senior men's side were blown away in Cardiff, the women's team suffered a similar fate.

Wales player Jasmine Joyce scores the final try. Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images
Wales player Jasmine Joyce scores the final try. Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Beibhinn Parsons opened the scoring, but after that Ireland failed to score a point.

This was Ireland's first defeat to Wales in the Six Nations since 2011.

Home tries came from Jess Kavanagh, captain Carys Phillips, Bethan Lewis, and Jasmine Joyce.

Ireland were straight on the attack and planted themselves in the Welsh 22 as they dominated possession and territory early on.

Wales player Gwen Crabb (r) and Aoife McDermott compete for a lineout ball. Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images
Wales player Gwen Crabb (r) and Aoife McDermott compete for a lineout ball. Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Hooker Deirbhile Nic A Bhaird was a lively presence with two superb breaks and finally the pressure told when the visitors spread the ball left for Parsons to score in the corner.

The conversion went wide and Wales finally got going.

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Flailing

On their first attack Lleucu George found Kavanagh, who flew down the wing to score past flailing Irish tackles.

Ireland weren't helped by losing lock Nichola Fryday to injury and Wales lost No 8 Siwan Lillicrap to a yellow card for a high tackle, but it was the hosts who were the better side.

They grabbed their second try through Phillips following a driving lineout and George converted.

In a tight and scrappy second half both teams made mistakes as a bitterly cold wind swirled around Cardiff Arms Park.

Griggs replaced Nicole Fowley with Ellen Murphy at out-half in search of a greater attacking threat. It didn't work.

Wales kept the ball in the tight exchanges and Ireland couldn't respond.

Lewis was driven over from close range with 12 minutes to go and it left the visitors up against it.

George nailed the kick in impressive fashion from out wide.

There was still time for more Irish misery as the outstanding Joyce ran in from more than 50 metres to seal victory for Wales.

Wales Women - Smyth (Wilkins 74); Joyce, H Jones, George, Kavanagh (Neumann 74); Snowsill, Bevan (F Lewis 74); Thomas (Hope), Phillips (K Jones), Evans (Hale); Crabb, Clay; Butchers (Johnes 74), B Lewis (Callender 74), Lillicrap.

Ireland Women - Delany; Considine, Breen, Naoupu, Parsons; Fowley (Murphy 50), Dane (Cronin 58); Peat (Djougang), Nic A Bhaird (Hooban 70), Reidy (Feely 50); McDermott, Fryday (Caplice 20); Griffin, Molloy, McLaughlin (McMahon 55-65 and 70).

Ref - Hollie Davidson.

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