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Dublin: 11°C Sunday 25 October 2020

'Ugly' win a beautifully firm foothold in the tournament for Tierney

’19-17 against Australia might look good in a few days’ time,’ says the Ireland head coach.

IRELAND HEAD COACH Tom Tierney had no reservations about accepting an ‘ugly’ victory to open the Women’s Rugby World Cup campaign.

The host nation had to dig deep to see off Australia 19 – 17 in Belfield thanks to tries from Larissa Muldoon, Ciara Griffin and Sophie Spence as the Wallaroos unleashed an incredibly physical resistance.

Sophie Spence scores their third try as Nora Stapleton and Larissa Muldoon celebrate Ireland celebrate Sophie Spence's try. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

“We were on the back foot for most of those hits tonight. We were up against a very good Australian team with nothing to lose,” a very pleased Tierney said post-match in the Bowl.

“We did get there, we won very ugly tonight, but great credit due to the players. Things weren’t going to plan against a very good Australian team and all that matters is we won.

“I think the Australians showed they’ll be a very tough team to play against when they play France in four days’ time. 19 – 17 against Australia might look good in a few days’ time.”

Claire Molloy in a rolling maul Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO

It was a contest that Ireland appeared to grow into the further they went into the mixer. There were numerous errors, but also several set-plays which were a matter of inches of being pulled off.  This Ireland team has played two (relatively low key) matches against Japan since the Six Nations finished, the more high-intensity rugby they play, the more fluid their game will be.

“We need to make sure we tidy up in a couple of areas. Japan will be a different type of proposition in four days’ time.

I think we’re going to improve and learn and get better from this performance, there’s a lot of pressure on the girls, but hopefully we can use that experience to make sure we don’t leave ourselves inaccurate.”

“There are areas we’ll try to improve for the Japanese game, which is always the way after a match, but it’s a lot better being here talking about a win that was ugly than a loss. That’s the critical factor in these pool stages, all I care about is the win.”

Four points on the board after they day’s most gripping contest is nothing to be sniffed at.

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About the author:

Sean Farrell

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