Munster and Leinster win on opening weekend of Women's Rugby interprovincials

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Munster and Leinster win on opening weekend of Women's Rugby interprovincials

Munster Rugby Women 38 Ulster Rugby Women 12
Leinster Rugby Women 34 Connacht Rugby Women 06

Leinster and Munster both notched big wins in round one of the 2019 IRFU Women’s Interprovincial Championship. Munster opened their account with a 38-12 win over Ulster at Irish Independent Park. The six-try salvo featured a brace of tries from Chloe Pearse and further efforts from Laura O’Mahony, Clodagh O’Halloran, Kate Sheehan and Niamh Kavanagh.

Ulster opened the scoring in the first minute of the game as Maeve Liston broke clear in midfield and angled her run to evade the cover. Fiona Tuite also crossed for Ulster in the first half, but Pearse was impressed with her side’s resolve.

“We never even got going and we found ourselves seven points behind” said the Munster co-captain. “But we trusted our process. We had our set piece and with the calibre of our backs, they’re always going to finish once you give them that platform.

“We did well to get back in the game and our defence at the start of the second half was really solid, so we just need to fine tune a few things before going up to Connacht next week.”

Munster were 19-12 clear at half time and secured the bonus point on the hour mark with Pearse’s second try.

“Objective achieved,” said Munster Head Coach Laura Guest. “It’s very close to being the best we could have looked for out of today. We lost Niamh Briggs to injury but that didn’t change our focus. We’re a squad. We’re a team. Players switched back onto their job as soon as she went off. Let’s hope it’s not too serious. It’s too early too tell.”

Defending champions Leinster also bagged six tries to beat Connacht 34-06 in Energia Park. It was a welcome return to action after a difficult year with injury for Ailsa Hughes who teed up the first try for Hannah O’Connor with a quick-tap penalty. The international scrum-half also finished a try of her own from the half-way line after a break from Sene Naoupu.

Connacht led 6-5 after 17 minutes thanks to penalties from Meabh Deely but the home side were back in front through Grace Miller and led 17-6 at half time.

Niamh Ni Dhroma scored Leinster’s fourth before substitute Meabh O'Brien ran in the home side’s fifth try from 75 metres. Michelle Claffey marked her return from ankle surgery with the final try of the game in the 80th minute.

Saturday August 17th

IRFU SENIOR WOMEN’S INTERPROVINCIAL CHAMPIONSHIP RESULTS:

MUNSTER RUGBY WOMEN 38 ULSTER RUGBY WOMEN 12, Irish Independent Park
Scorers: Munster Rugby Women: Tries: Laura O’Mahony, Clodagh O’Halloran, Kate Sheehan, Niamh Kavanagh, Chloe Pearse 2; Con: Niamh Briggs 2; Rachel Allen-Connolly 2
Ulster Rugby Women: Maeve Liston, Fiona Tuite; Con: Moya Hill
HT: Munster Rugby 12 Ulster Rugby 07

LEINSTER RUGBY WOMEN 34 CONNACHT RUGBY WOMEN 06, Energia Park
Scorers: Leinster Rugby Women: Tries: Hannah O'Connor, Grace Miller, Ailsa Hughes, Niamh Ní Dhroma, Meabh O'Brien, Michelle Claffey; Con: Hannah O'Connor 2
Connacht Rugby Women: Pen: Meabh Deely 2
HT: Leinster Rugby Women 17 Connacht Rugby Women 06

IRFU U18 WOMEN’S INTERPROVINCIAL CHAMPIONSHIP RESULTS:

MUNSTER U18 WOMEN 12 ULSTER U18 WOMEN 17, Irish Independent Park
Scorers: Munster Rugby U18 Women’s: Tries: Penalty Try, Aoibhinn O’Loughlin
Ulster Rugby U18 Women’s: Farrah McCloskey, Rachel McGee 2; Con: Moya Hill
HT: Munster Rugby 12 Ulster Rugby 07

LEINSTER U18 WOMEN 39 CONNACHT U18 WOMEN 10, MU Barnhall
Scorers: Leinster Rugby U18 Women’s: Tries: Rachel Conroy, Aoife Wafer 2, Kathryn Dempsey, Katie Whelan, Ciara Faulkner 2; Cons: Ava Jenkins 2
Connacht U18 Women’s: Tries: Caoimhe English McNamara, Faith Ovaiwe
HT Leinster Rugby 27 Connacht Rugby 10