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'The X-factor that she brings is all her': Another dream day for Ireland's 18-year-old sensation

Beibhinn Parsons scored another wonder-try in Donnybrook this afternoon.

ANOTHER SUNDAY IN Donnybrook, another stunning try courtesy of Ireland’s 18-year-old sensation Beibhinn Parsons.

beibhinn-parsons-celebrates-scoring-the-opening-try Beibhinn Parsons celebrates. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Last weekend, Parsons broke away and ran the length of the pitch for a breathtaking match-winner against Scotland, but this afternoon against Wales, her moment of magic kicked Ireland into gear.

Adam Griggs’ side started on the back foot against their familiar foes, but the Connacht teenage star sparked them to life in the 17th minute.

Parsons pounced on a loose ball, found a gap and danced through the heart of the Welsh defence. Speed, strength, footwork; she showed it all before dotting down.

With the small matter of a Leaving Cert to complete over the next few months, the Ballinasloe wing will has had a baptism of fire on the international circuit since making her Test debut at the age of 16.

And Griggs has had the pleasure of watching her blossom into a top prospect over a seriously short space of time. He has witnessed it from her underage days, but the whole country has certainly seen what she can do over the past few weeks.

“She’s phenomenal,” the Ireland head coach remarked after their 31-12 victory at Energia Park, and Parson’s match-changing magic.

“It’s one of those things, you try and help her with her game understanding and her skill level but the X-factor that she brings is all her. She’s just starting to really grow into her own.

“She’s still got a Leaving Cert to do this year, I’m not sure how she’s going to balance that as well. But over the last couple of weeks, she’s been brilliant.

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“She’s growing into a really fine player but also she’s far more vocal now, she understands the game. she understands what we’re trying to do in our systems. She doesn’t sit back like a young one anymore, she’s certainly one of the vocal players and knows the standard that’s required, and she’s showing it on the field.”

While Lauren Delany was also on the scoresheet with a superb breakaway effort and Wasps hooker Cliodhna Moloney chipped in with another, it was Leinster prop Linda Djougang who secured the bonus point for Ireland just after half-time.

The 23-year-old Cameroon-born star powered over on 42 minutes after breaking three tackles, to leave Ireland in good stead before Storm Ciara worsened and wreaked havoc. 

“She’s another one over the last couple of weeks who has just been immense for us,” Griggs added on Djougang. “Her try showed it; carrying a couple of Welsh players, she had no right to go that far.

“I’m just delighted that she’s been there again. I’ve been with her a good few years now, we were back in Leinster. She’s also understanding what it takes at this level and she’s showing how successful she can be.

“I just imagine over the next few years she’s going to be phenomenal as well.”

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Emma Duffy

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