Dan Sheridan/INPHO File photo.
# Job Done
'We knew we had the ability': Fantastic captain Coghlan takes historic win in her stride
“We knew what we were going to do; we were going to go back up there and score and take control of the game.”

IF THE WATCHING public were going ballistic after seeing Ireland’s women record a momentous, scarcely believable, win over New Zealand at the Rugby World Cup, captain Fiona Coghlan was the picture of calm.

She believed all along.

And where some may have expected an emotional post-match interview, she was serious and cool while delivering a professional recount of the job well done.

“This was a huge game,” said the prop, “we knew coming in today, playing against the World Champions was a huge game. But the girls were confident, we knew we had the ability in the team, it was just [about] being consistent for 80 minutes and we were.”

That consistency relates chiefly to Ireland’s formidable defensive systems. New Zealand’s pedigree means they will have come into this fixture chasing a bonus point, but they trudged off the field having scored one try off turnover ball.

At that stage, the game looked to be following an all-too familiar pattern against the Land of the Long White Cloud: Ireland huffing and puffing, only for clinical Kiwis to land a sucker punch. However, the Selica Winiata try that pushed Ireland 8 – 0 adrift ended up being a reprieve for the Black Ferns, not the opening of floodgates.

“The heads never dropped because we were on the same page,” asserted Coghlan.

“We scored up there and it was very controlled even when they went ahead. We knew what we were going to do; we were going to go back up there and score and take control of the game.”

New Zealand appeared to be finding an ominous rhythm in the game’s third quarter; finding gaps in midfield and testing Ireland’s scramble defence. It stood up to the task.

“We knew they were going to come back strong, but we settled things down we kept control of the ball was about control and we were all on the same page.”

‘Top of the world’

“[Beating New Zealand is] huge. it’s a team we respect, we’ve watched, we’ve probably learned a lot from over the years.

“They’re top of the world, that’s where we said we wanted to be. We’re not there yet, it’s only step two of the process but we’re on the right track.”

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