Monday 22 January 2018

Murphy sets her sights on 'gunning down' England

Jenny Murphy, Ireland, goes over to score a try
Jenny Murphy, Ireland, goes over to score a try
Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

Ireland centre Jenny Murphy has admitted that her side will be aiming to exact revenge for last year's World Cup semi-final defeat when they host England at Ashbourne on Friday.

England went on to be crowned champions following their 40-7 win but a lot has changed since then, as Murphy was keen to point out.

Both sides now have different coaches and Murphy insisted that the players who felt the hurt of last year do not want a repeat of that ever again.

"It'll motivate a lot of the girls and it's nice to have a chance to get some revenge on a World Cup semi-final where we were hockeyed," she admitted.

"It's not pleasant. It's brilliant that we got to the top four but we don't look at it like that. We want to push on. I'm looking forward to gunning them down.

"Certain things didn't click that day. It was the first time I was in a dressing room like that. It was quiet and it's never going to happen again. We've already drawn a line under that performance," Murphy added.

Both sides come into Friday's clash with an identical record (won one and lost one) and Murphy maintained that there are plenty of similarities with regard to the 'transitional' periods of both nations.

Refusing

Despite the fact that several new faces are expected to be named in England's starting XV from last year, Murphy is refusing to read too much into it.

"They've changed but they're still England and are a dangerous side. They're like the men's team in that they have a strong back-row," she commented.

"In particular, there are one or two names who I would have played with in Richmond and are now in the set-up. Alex Matthews would probably be one to look out for and she's a big target.

"They're in the same position as us in that they have a lot of new people in the back-line as well.

"It will be interesting to see if they're going to pull some Sevens players back in from the World Series. We're in their sights but I'm not worried. If we play our game and we correct the wrongs that we made in the France game then they're going to have to be the ones to worry about us."

Reflecting on Ireland's progress under Tom Tierney, Murphy is adamant that there is still plenty to come from a side who are still getting to know each other.

"The back-line haven't been firing on all cylinders but we've had time together so there's no excuses at this stage - you're finding out bits about each other that you might not have noticed before.

"It's going to get there though and we're going to be a force to be reckoned with."

Irish Independent

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