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Dublin: 10 °C Friday 21 February, 2020

Cantwell numb after Twickenham defeat but Six Nations is 'within our reach'

The outside centre underlined that Phillip Doyle’s side remain focused on winning the championship.

Cantwell [left] and Fiona Coghlan leave the Twickenham pitch after yesterday's defeat.
Cantwell [left] and Fiona Coghlan leave the Twickenham pitch after yesterday's defeat.
Image: ©INPHO/James Crombie

THE IRELAND WOMEN’S teams dreams of back-to-back Grand Slams may have come to an end at Twickenham yesterday, but a championship is still on the line for Phillip Doyle’s side.

Ireland remain top of the Women’s Six Nations table, just ahead of the English on points difference [2 points in Ireland's favour]. With the visit of Italy and a trip to France still to come, centre Lynne Cantwell insists that championship ambitions are intact.

However, the sense of disappointment after this 17-10 defeat to England will take some time to fade away. Those feelings are likely to surge to the fore today, with Cantwell admitting to a sense of shock in the immediate aftermath yesterday evening.

I’m just really numb, I don’t know what to think of that. Usually after we lose games, I’m upset and I’ll have a cry, but I just don’t know what to say about that game. We fought so hard, and I’m sure they would have been better to watch.

“Yes, we gave it everything, yes, we put our bodies on the line but that’s in our DNA, that’s what we do. We had it in our hands to execute a few more things and attack to put more scores on the board.

Katherine Merchant is tackled by Lynne Cantwell Cantwell tackles England's Katherine Merchant. Source: ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

“I’m really, really disappointed with that result, even though there are silver linings. I’m just really disappointed.”

This loss to an England side that bristled with pace and power once again puts into perspective the magnitude of Ireland’s accomplishments in claiming their famous clean sweep last season.

Cantwell agrees with that sentiment, but points out that she and her teammates want to create new history.

There’s no doubt about that. We did that and that’s money in the bank, an incredible achievement. But I don’t think you’d be a competitive person if you didn’t expect to build on that.

“You don’t just stop there, there’s more in us. We still have more in the tank and that’s what we need to keep on striving towards. The Six Nations is still within our reach and that’s what we’re going for.”

- Additional reporting by Patrick McCarry.

‘What’s the point in biting each other’s heads off?’ – Ireland’s Jordi Murphy

Ireland Women’s winning run comes to an end in Twickenham

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Murray Kinsella

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