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Ireland go top after late bonus point win in Italy

However, the match was not quite as straightforward as the 27-3 outcome suggests.

Italy 3

Ireland 27

A BRILLIANT last-gasp try from Hannah Tyrrell earned Ireland a bonus point win, as they beat Italy 27-3 in L’Aquila in this afternoon’s Women’s Six Nations clash.

However, the match was not quite as straightforward as the outcome suggests, with the Irish being held 3-3 at half-time, before an improved display after the break saw them secure a deserved victory.

The result means it’s now two victories out of two for Tom Tierney’s side, who won 22-15 away to Scotland last week.

After a cagey opening, Nora Stapleton kicked Ireland into a 3-0 lead on 28 minutes, before Michela Sillari’s penalty on the brink of half-time levelled the scores.

The Irish finally found a way past the stubborn Italian resistance 10 minutes after the break, as Leah Lyons touched down following great work by Jenny Murphy in the build up.

The visitors did not have to wait long for the second try of the game, as strong running from Alison Miller enabled Sophie Spence to increase Ireland’s advantage on 54 minutes.

After Murphy was held up close to the line, captain Paula Fitzpatrick touched down to end the game as a contest just after the hour mark and make it 22-3.

One more try was needed to get the bonus point and send Ireland top of the table, and Tyrrell eventually delivered in the 82nd minute in what was a magnificent solo run starting inside her own half.

Italy scorers:Penalties: Michela SillariIreland scorersTries: Leah Lyons, Paula Fitzpatrick, Sophie Spence, Hannah Tyrrell.

Conversions: Nora Stapleton (2 from 4)

Penalties: Nora Stapleton

ITALY WOMEN: Manuela Furlan; Michela Sillari, Mariagrazia Ciofi, Sofia Stefan (Paola Zangirolami ’39), Maria Megatti (Claudio Salvadego ’75); Beatrice Rigoni, Sara Barattin; Elisa Cucchiella Gaia Giacomoli (’75), Melissa Bettoni (Marta Ferrari ’75), Lucia Gai (Ilaria Arrighetti ’50); Flavia Severin (Michela Este ’60), Alice Trevisan; Lucia Cammarano, Isabella Locatelli (Elisa Pillotti ’55), Elisa Giordano.

Replacements not used: Silvia Folli.

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IRELAND WOMEN: Mairead Coyne; Hannah Tyrrell, Jenny Murphy (Claire McLaughlin ’38), Sene Naoupu, Alison Miller; Nora Stapleton, Ailsa Hughes (Mary Healy HT); Lindsay Peat (Ilse Van Staden ’72), Leah Lyons, Ailis Egan; Elaine Anthony (Sophie Spence HT), Marie-Louise Reilly; Ciara Griffin (Ciara Cooney ’62), Claire Molloy, Paula Fitzpatrick (captain).

Replacements not used: Jennie Finlay, Eimear Considine.

Referee: Rachel Horton.

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Paul Fennessy

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