Scotland 20 Ireland 18
A ‘hugely disappointed’ Adam Griggs stated an underperforming set-piece and an absence of assaulting cohesion proved to be the undoing of the Ireland women’s rugby team as their World Cup dream concerned an end at Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi in Parma on Saturday evening.
In need of a favorable outcome (a draw would have sufficed) to keep their hopes of reaching next year’s finals in New Zealand alive, Ireland looked set to declare runners-up area in the European Qualifiers – and as a result a location at an upcoming repechage tournament – when they led 18-13 in the closing phases of their clash with Scotland in Italy.
However, with outside centre Eve Higgins in the sin-bin, their Celtic counterparts attacked for a last-minute try through Chloe Rollie. A draw would have been enough to keep Ireland in 2nd place, however Sarah Law’s nerveless conversion ultimately put paid to their possibilities.
” We’ve struggled with our set-piece this whole competition. If you don’t have a set-piece, you can’t provide the backs, as lethal as they are, that platform. Comparable to the other games, we produced opportunities and chances. We simply couldn’t complete them. We were most likely too sluggish into our attacking breakdowns,” the Ireland head coach remarked.
In a comparable vein to their previous encounters against Spain and Italy, scoring opportunities were at a premium during the early exchanges with both teams devoting a host of mistakes.
Ireland were making some great ground inside the opposition ’22’, nevertheless, and Linda Djougang shook off a host of tackles to get an unconverted try out 19 minutes.
The 2014 World Cup semi-finalists were wishing to push on from this point, but the sin-binning of Edel McMahon on 25 minutes afforded Scotland a grip in the game. Helen Nelson consequently transformed a penalty to get Bryan Easson’s clothing up and running and while Ireland held firm with a numerical deficiency, Rhona Lloyd acquired Nelson’s chip in behind to touch down in the 39 th-minute.
This propelled Scotland into a 8-5 interval buffer and triumph was within their sights when hooker Lana Skeldon crossed the whitewash in effective style 8 minutes after the reboot.
Faced with an underwhelming credentials exit, Ireland turned the tables on their opponents either side of the third-quarter mark. After a Flood penalty helped them to settle, Sene Naoupu released replacement prop Lindsay Peat through a defensive gap for a 61 st-minute try.
Supplementing her own reward strike, Flood added a penalty to provide Ireland some additional daylight. They quickly threatened for a 3rd try, however discovered themselves under the cosh as the final whistle approached.
Despite their best efforts to shut down space, the absence of Higgins left their Scottish equivalents with numbers out broad. Rollins dotted down at an angle that was beneficial to Law, who made no error off the kicking tee.
Having actually taken charge of Ireland in the aftermath of the 2017 home-based World Cup, Griggs was not surprisingly devastated to see his side’s hopes concerning an end in such a remarkable style.
” We have actually got 28 females there who had a substantial goal and support staff who have worked relentlessly through a Covid pandemic.
” Eventually we believed we were on the right track and we believed we had done the preparation to be successful. In some cases you do not always get what you are worthy of in life and it’s one of those things we simply need to take on the chin at the moment.”
Ireland: E Considine; A-L Murphy Crowe, E Higgins, S Naoupu, B Parsons; S Flood, K Dane; L Feely, C Moloney, L Djougang; N Fryday, S Monaghan; D Wall, E McMahon, C Griffin.
Replacements: L Delany for Considine (36 mins to h-t); L Peat for Feely (h-t); C Molloy for McMahon (50 mins); E Lane for Dane (61 mins), B Hogan for Monaghan (66 minutes).
Scotland: C Rollie; R Lloyd, H Smith, L Thomson, M Gaffney; H Nelson, J Maxwell; L Bartlett, L Skeldon, C Belisle; E Wassell, L McMillan; R McLachlan, R Malcolm, J Konkel.
Replacements: S Law for Nelson (49 minutes); S Bonar for McLachlan (55 mins); E Gallagher for Malcolm, L Coburn for Bartlett (both 62 mins); M Wright for Belisle (69 minutes).
Referee: C Munarini (Italy).