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Fiona Coghlan: Irish women delivered complete performance

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Ireland captain Niamh Briggs celebrates with the Women's Six Nations Rugby Championship trophy.

Ireland captain Niamh Briggs celebrates with the Women's Six Nations Rugby Championship trophy.

SPORTSFILE

Ireland captain Niamh Briggs celebrates with the Women's Six Nations Rugby Championship trophy.

Former Grand Slam winning captain Fiona Coughlan has hailed the clinical performance of the Irish women's team as they completed a historic Six Nations double.

Coughlan led the team to championship glory two years ago and in her first season post-retirement has seen her former team-mates reclaim the title after a crushing 73-3 win over Scotland today, following in the footsteps of their male counterparts who retained their title with a 40-10 success in Murrayfield yesterday.

Italy's surprise defeat of France left the door open for Ireland who knew a 27-point winning margin would suffice. That was achieved by half-time but Tom Tierney's side didn't take their foot off the pedal and finished with 11 tries and the concession of a single penalty.

Coghlan believes it is the manner of victory will greatly please players and management alike.

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Ireland captain Niamh Briggs celebrates with the Women's Six Nations Rugby Championship trophy.

Ireland captain Niamh Briggs celebrates with the Women's Six Nations Rugby Championship trophy.

SPORTSFILE

Tania Rosser and her Ireland team-mates celebrate with the Women's Six Nations Rugby Championship trophy.

Tania Rosser and her Ireland team-mates celebrate with the Women's Six Nations Rugby Championship trophy.

SPORTSFILE

Ireland captain Niamh Briggs lifts the Women's Six Nations Rugby Championship trophy.

Ireland captain Niamh Briggs lifts the Women's Six Nations Rugby Championship trophy.

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Niamh Briggs, Ireland, celebrates scoring her side's first try. Women's Six Nations Rugby Championship, Scotland v Ireland. Broadwood Stadium, Clyde FC, Glasgow, Scotland. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

Niamh Briggs, Ireland, celebrates scoring her side's first try. Women's Six Nations Rugby Championship, Scotland v Ireland. Broadwood Stadium, Clyde FC, Glasgow, Scotland. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

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Niamh Briggs, Ireland, goes over to score her side's first try. Women's Six Nations Rugby Championship, Scotland v Ireland. Broadwood Stadium, Clyde FC, Glasgow, Scotland. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

Niamh Briggs, Ireland, goes over to score her side's first try. Women's Six Nations Rugby Championship, Scotland v Ireland. Broadwood Stadium, Clyde FC, Glasgow, Scotland. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

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Claire Molloy, Ireland, is tackled by Eilidh Sinclair and Gillian Inglis, right, Scotland. Women's Six Nations Rugby Championship, Scotland v Ireland. Broadwood Stadium, Clyde FC, Glasgow, Scotland. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

Claire Molloy, Ireland, is tackled by Eilidh Sinclair and Gillian Inglis, right, Scotland. Women's Six Nations Rugby Championship, Scotland v Ireland. Broadwood Stadium, Clyde FC, Glasgow, Scotland. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

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Hannah Tyrrell, Ireland, is tackled by Eilidh Sinclair, Scotland. Women's Six Nations Rugby Championship, Scotland v Ireland. Broadwood Stadium, Clyde FC, Glasgow, Scotland. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

Hannah Tyrrell, Ireland, is tackled by Eilidh Sinclair, Scotland. Women's Six Nations Rugby Championship, Scotland v Ireland. Broadwood Stadium, Clyde FC, Glasgow, Scotland. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

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Paula Fitzpatrick, left, and Jenny Murphy, Ireland, attack the ball. Women's Six Nations Rugby Championship, Scotland v Ireland. Broadwood Stadium, Clyde FC, Glasgow, Scotland. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

Paula Fitzpatrick, left, and Jenny Murphy, Ireland, attack the ball. Women's Six Nations Rugby Championship, Scotland v Ireland. Broadwood Stadium, Clyde FC, Glasgow, Scotland. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

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Hannah Tyrrell, Ireland, is tackled by Eilidh Sinclair, Scotland. Women's Six Nations Rugby Championship, Scotland v Ireland. Broadwood Stadium, Clyde FC, Glasgow, Scotland. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

Hannah Tyrrell, Ireland, is tackled by Eilidh Sinclair, Scotland. Women's Six Nations Rugby Championship, Scotland v Ireland. Broadwood Stadium, Clyde FC, Glasgow, Scotland. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

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Niamh Briggs, Ireland, is tackled by Lisa Martin, Scotland. Women's Six Nations Rugby Championship, Scotland v Ireland. Broadwood Stadium, Clyde FC, Glasgow, Scotland. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

Niamh Briggs, Ireland, is tackled by Lisa Martin, Scotland. Women's Six Nations Rugby Championship, Scotland v Ireland. Broadwood Stadium, Clyde FC, Glasgow, Scotland. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

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Aoife Doyle, Ireland, is tackled by Lisa Martin, Scotland. Women's Six Nations Rugby Championship, Scotland v Ireland. Broadwood Stadium, Clyde FC, Glasgow, Scotland. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

Aoife Doyle, Ireland, is tackled by Lisa Martin, Scotland. Women's Six Nations Rugby Championship, Scotland v Ireland. Broadwood Stadium, Clyde FC, Glasgow, Scotland. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

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Claire Molloy, Ireland, is tackled by Eilidh Sinclair and Gillian Inglis, right, Scotland. Women's Six Nations Rugby Championship, Scotland v Ireland. Broadwood Stadium, Clyde FC, Glasgow, Scotland. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

Claire Molloy, Ireland, is tackled by Eilidh Sinclair and Gillian Inglis, right, Scotland. Women's Six Nations Rugby Championship, Scotland v Ireland. Broadwood Stadium, Clyde FC, Glasgow, Scotland. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

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Alison Miller, Ireland, on her way to scoring a first half try. Women's Six Nations Rugby Championship, Scotland v Ireland. Broadwood Stadium, Clyde FC, Glasgow, Scotland. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

Alison Miller, Ireland, on her way to scoring a first half try. Women's Six Nations Rugby Championship, Scotland v Ireland. Broadwood Stadium, Clyde FC, Glasgow, Scotland. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

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Niamh Briggs, Ireland, kicks a conversion. Women's Six Nations Rugby Championship, Scotland v Ireland. Broadwood Stadium, Clyde FC, Glasgow, Scotland. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

Niamh Briggs, Ireland, kicks a conversion. Women's Six Nations Rugby Championship, Scotland v Ireland. Broadwood Stadium, Clyde FC, Glasgow, Scotland. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

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Sophie Spence, Ireland, is tackled by Emma Wassell, Scotland. Women's Six Nations Rugby Championship, Scotland v Ireland. Broadwood Stadium, Clyde FC, Glasgow, Scotland. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

Sophie Spence, Ireland, is tackled by Emma Wassell, Scotland. Women's Six Nations Rugby Championship, Scotland v Ireland. Broadwood Stadium, Clyde FC, Glasgow, Scotland. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

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Alison Miller, Ireland, on her way to scoring her second try. Women's Six Nations Rugby Championship, Scotland v Ireland. Broadwood Stadium, Clyde FC, Glasgow, Scotland. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

Alison Miller, Ireland, on her way to scoring her second try. Women's Six Nations Rugby Championship, Scotland v Ireland. Broadwood Stadium, Clyde FC, Glasgow, Scotland. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

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Ireland captain Niamh Briggs celebrates with the Women's Six Nations Rugby Championship trophy.

"I felt they would get 50 points, but they were relentless," she told Independent.ie. "They were always going to go through their processes, to keep going through the phases to ensure the opportunities were going to come."

"The way they stuck to the game plan was very impressive."

Last year's World Cup semi-finalists began the competition with a comfortable win over Italy, but went down at home to France before edging past England in Ashbourne and Coghlan says the improvement in the team has been very noticeable.

"For the first three games they were not playing at their best, and I think the girls would acknowledge that themselves. Since then they have taken it up another level and we saw that today.

"They were exceptionally clinical in what was a complete performance."

Similar to the men's team yesterday, the points target did not detract from the players' mindset to set out first and foremost to win the game, but Coghlan admits that the women had it easier than the men with the scheduling.

"The atmosphere when we stayed in the stadium for the game was incredible in what has been an incredible weekend for Irish rugby. I think the girls had it easier in that they knew what they had to do and that was it. The lads still had to wait on another result which made it a more nervous affair.

"The results show the rude health of the game in Ireland and I think both performances demonstrated that running rugby is alive and well."

Online Editors