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Parsons scores classy try as Ireland put a tough week behind them at the RDS

Ciara Griffin and co. were deserved winners as Lindsay Peat scored a fitting try.

Ireland 20

USA 10

WHO KNEW A crowd of just over 2,000 people could make this much noise?

After a tough week in Irish women’s rugby, Ciara Griffin and her team put the frustration aside for 80 minutes and overcame a USA team who provided many impressive moments too.

beibhinn-parsons-celebrates-scoring-her-sides-first-try-with-lauren-delany Beibhinn Parsons celebrates her try with Lauren Delany. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

It was fitting that Lindsay Peat scored a crucial second-half try in what may have been one of her final appearances for Ireland.

Leah Lyons and the brilliant Beibhinn Parsons also dotted down, the latter scoring her latest stunning try to mark out her potential as a world-class wing.

The crowd were highly vocal throughout, showing this team that there is indeed real support for their bid to rebuild after the recent World Cup Qualifier failure. 

The reality is that Irish women’s rugby needs a wide-ranging renewal and some deep introspection on the IRFU’s part but this evening at the RDS will certainly have felt good for Ireland, who were inspired by a player of the match performance from second row Nicola Fryday.

There was an impressive Test debut for Maeve Óg O’Leary on a happy evening, with Ireland celebrating their win in gleeful fashion at the final whistle.

beibhinn-parsons-anna-caplice-ciara-griffin-and-lindsay-peat-during-the-warm-up Ciara Griffin leads Ireland into the changing room before kick-off. Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO

It was an error-strewn first-half until Parsons lit the RDS up with another wondrous finish in the 25th minute. Out-half Stacey Flood, who had a fine game, launched a cross-field kick off an Ireland scrum on their own 10-metre line out on the right, finding grass in behind USA wing Bulou Mataitoga.

The ball bounced up invitingly for Parsons, who gathered it just inside the USA 10-metre line, swerved around fullback Kayla Canett and scorched home with a show of her pure pace.

Ireland’s discipline had been an issue all half and penalties allowed the USA down into their 22 soon after Parsons’ score. The Americans’ first thrust yielded what looked like a try for hooker after a nice close-range by hooker Saher Hamdan but it was ruled out for a knock-on in the build-up.

But the visitors were brought back to a penalty advantage and this time they crossed without any doubts, crisp passes from Katana Howard and Canett allowing Mataitoga to finish wide on the right.

Ireland’s response was excellent, however, as they pounced following an error by USA scrum-half Carly Waters, who dropped Flood’s kick down the left into touch. The Irish maul won a penalty, they went into the left corner and came away with a score. 

beibhinn-parsons-scores-her-sides-first-try Beibhinn Parsons scorches clear for her first-half try. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Fryday made a big carry just before tighthead Lyons picked and drove over from close-range, with Flood converting for a 12-5 half-time lead.

The US started the second half superbly, with offloads from tighthead Hope Rogers and impressive lock Alycia Washington prominent in the build-up before Canett and Howard teed up replacement back row Elizabeth Cairns to finish a wonderful flowing move from 50 metres out. 

Megan Foster was unsuccessful with the conversion attempt as Flood charged out and knocked the ball off the tee, referee Sara Cox having deemed that Foster had started her approach to the ball.

Ireland’s maul fired next as they first marched towards the tryline only to be illegally hauled down, Mataitoga sin-binned as a result, before another cohesive effort sent Peat over for the score and a 17-10 Ireland lead.

The home side soon needed a big counter-ruck turnover by hooker Cliodhna Moloney on the next US visit into their 22, just after fullback Lauren Delany had done well to stop Kate Zackary’s big linebreak.

lindsay-peat-celebrates-scoring-her-sides-third-try-with-sene-naoupu Lindsay Peat celebrates her try with Sene Naoupu. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Sene Naoupu was the next to come up with a big defensive intervention in Ireland’s 22, dislodging the ball in the tackle, with back row Maeve Óg O’Leary – just on for her debut – somehow managing to hold up a promising USA maul over the tryline.


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Canett should have out Tess Feury away in the right corner soon after but a poor pass left the US wing with plenty to do and Ireland’s back three combined to prevent her from finishing, with Laura Sheehan making the crucial final contribution to deny Feury.

The US kept battling but the Irish defence was unwilling to yield and Adam Griggs’ team finished the evening buried deep in the visitors’ 22, Flood knocking over another three points off the tee for good measure.

Ireland scorers:

Tries: Beibhinn Parsons, Leah Lyons, Lindsay Peat

Conversions: Stacey Flood [1 from 3]

Penalties: Stacey Flood [1 from 1]

USA scorers:

Tries: Bulou Mataitoga, Elizabeth Cairns

Conversions: Megan Foster [0 from 2]

IRELAND: Lauren Delany; Laura Sheehan, Eimear Considine (Eve Higgins ’55), Sene Naoupu, Beibhinn Parsons (Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe ’67); Stacey Flood, Ailsa Hughes (Kathryn Dane ’58); Lindsay Peat (Katie O’Dwyer ’58), Cliodhna Moloney (Neve Jones ’58), Leah Lyons (Linda Djougang ’55); Nichola Fryday, Sam Monaghan; Ciara Griffin (captain) (Maeve Óg O’Leary ’63), Edel McMahon, Anna Caplice (Hannah O’Connor ’69).

USA: Kayla Canett; Tess Feury (McKenzie Hawkins ’67, Amy Talei Bonte, Katana Howard, Bulou Mataitoga (yellow card ’50 to ’60); Megan Foster (Sarah Levy ’67), Carly Waters (Olivia Ortiz ’67); Catherine Benson (Nick James ’51), Saher Hamdan (Kathryn Treder ’72), Hope Rogers (Maya Learned ’80); Kristine Sommer, Alycia Washington (Hallie Taufoou ’71); Rachel Ehrecke. Rachel Johnson (Elizabeth Cairns ’17), Kate Zackary.

Referee: Sara Cox [RFU]. 

About the author:

Murray Kinsella  / Reports from the RDS

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