Scott Bemand congratulates Beibhinn Parsons after the game. Ben Brady/INPHO
Winning Feeling

'Finally nice to just get a win' - Ireland relieved to end Six Nations losing streak

Scott Bemand said his side were confident that a performance of this calibre was in the pipeline.

IRELAND HEAD COACH Scott Bemand expressed his joy after his side’s excellent victory over Wales today, ending a two-year wait for a win in the women’s Six Nations.

A five-try bonus-point display against Wales finally got Ireland’s engine revving again, having suffered the wooden spoon fate in last year’s competition. There were further defeats against France and Italy before today’s result, but it was one to savour in front of a crowd of 6,139 at Musgrave Park in Cork.

“I’m delighted for the girls to be honest,” Bemand said after the game. “I keep talking about how hard everyone trains and I keep talking about identity. We know we were under a kind of process so its finally nice to just get a win.

“We can’t get too carried away with it, it’s the next step. Its great for the girls to able to put a performance on, a winning performance and give the Irish crowd something to get behind.

“We’ve seen it coming, we know it’s coming but look its only a game isn’t it and there’s two more to go so we’ll dust ourselves off pretty quick. We’ll look at what we did well, we’ll try to feed off that and we’ll look at what we need to tidy up and try and get better again and we’ve got Twickenham next week.”

There were exceptional individual performances around the park, with Aoife Wafer eventually getting the nod to pick up the Player of the Match award. Her influence was obvious throughout the game as she emerged as Ireland’s first try-scorer while also imposing herself in the Irish pack.

Bemand acknowledged that plenty of the Ireland crew could have been selected, including Ireland out-half Dannah O’Brien who kicked four out of a possible five conversions, along with a penalty.

“We know we’ve got a real talent there and both Dannah and her [Wafer] being so young, they make it look easy. They’ll continue to get better ‘cos we’ll keep working hard and we want to keep being part of a successful Ireland so we’ve got plenty to go at but it’s nice to get that win.”

The substitution of Ireland front-rower Linda Djougang was a concerning sight, as she was seen with her arm wrapped in her jersey as she made way. Bemand says he’s hopeful that her injury is minor as their next outing against five-in-a-row champions England looms.

“She’s being asssesseed by medics now,” Bemand said when asked about her condition. “We’ll know a bit more in 24 hours but we’re hopeing she’ll be all right. She was pleased with the win, disappointed to come off and bit sore.”

A relieved O’Brien said that “it felt good” to finally deliver a win in front of a home crowd. When asked for her top pick of the five tries scored by her team today, she singled out Katie Corrigan’s effort. The lively winger sprinted over in the opening minutes of the second half after a perfectly timed charge down on the Welsh 10 Lleucu George.

“I was proud of her. Just shows the commitment and she kept competing, got a hand on the kick and walked it in so yeah fair play to her.”

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