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Dublin: 14 °C Saturday 20 July, 2019

'At times we were playing with such tempo that we almost ran ourselves off our feet'

Ireland Women’s 22-5 win in Scotland has teed them up for a big test against Italy.

Leah Lyons powered over for one of four Irish tries against Scotland.
Leah Lyons powered over for one of four Irish tries against Scotland.
Image: Craig Watson/INPHO

A BONUS-POINT win in Scotland has put Ireland Women’s Six Nations campaign back on track but coach Adam Griggs is already warning his players they can’t afford to rest on their laurels – Italy, their next opponents, are going to be an even tougher test.

“It is going to be a great game,” he predicted. “We are going to do our homework on them over the next couple of weeks but I think it is going to be a really physical game.

“Last year their forwards were dominant and physical. By the looks of them, they have got even fitter than they were last year and were able to get more touches on the ball.”

Though Ireland won the fixture last season, Griggs saw enough in Italy’s performance in Scotland – they won by an identical try count, four tries to one – to suggest the match in Parma is unlikely to be a repeat of that 21-8 victory.

“They were able to put us under a lot of pressure in that game and we saw their backs got some nice touches and score some nice tries against Scotland, so we are going to have to be on our game. The biggest aspect for us is to make sure our defence is in order because they have an exciting 10/12 combination coming through and will be able to exploit you if you don’t have your defence in order,” he added.

None of which should take away from a dominant 22-5 win over Scotland, who had claimed their first win in Ireland last season but never seriously in threatened to repeat the feat in this game.

“We had a lot of possession and at times we were playing with such tempo that we almost ran ourselves off our feet,” Griggs reflected. “That is what we base our game on, trying to develop quick ball and trying to use our backs as well as we can as well. We were really happy again with our set piece – the game is built on that tight five and having our back row in the game. They were exceptional.

“We are trying to get a little more consistency in our handling. We held the ball for a large number of phases but the last pass sometimes let us down, When you put that pressure on Scotland and make them make a lot of tackles, we knew in that last 20 they would tire and that was the result we got.”

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Lewis Stuart

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