Women’s Six Nations 2024: Ireland 36-5 Wales – Five-try hosts secure first win of competition

Home » Women’s Six Nations 2024: Ireland 36-5 Wales – Five-try hosts secure first win of competition
Women’s Six Nations: Ireland v Wales
Ireland (21) 36
Tries: Wafer, Higgins, Jones, Corrigan, Parsons Cons: O’Brien 4 Pens: O’Brien
Wales (0) 5
Tries: Hopkins

Ireland ran in five tries to secure a dominant bonus-point win over Wales and clinch their first victory of the 2024 Women’s Six Nations.

Their success at Virgin Media Park ended a run of seven defeats in the competition and condemned Wales to a third loss in a row in this campaign.

Aoife Wafer, Eve Higgins and Neve Jones crossed before the break and Katie Corrigan and Beibhinn Parsons after it.

Wales debutant Gwennan Hopkins scored a late consolation try in Cork.

The visitors have now lost six games in succession following a friendly win over the United States last summer and have just a solitary point to show from three straight defeats in this year’s Six Nations.

Ireland move above Italy and Scotland into third place in the table before the Italians’ match in France on Sunday.

The Irish had lost to France and Italy in their first two matches, with Wales having gone down to Scotland and England.

Ireland were rewarded for some early enterprising rugby when Wafer received the ball 10 metres out after it was worked wide left and the flanker showed power to barge through a series of attempted tackles to dive over in the corner in the 14th minute.

The hosts continued to dominate as they played with speed and intensity and centre Higgins executed a superb carry to breach the Welsh defences again and surge over for her side’s second touchdown halfway through the opening period.

Scrum-half Aoibheann Reilly made the initial break but when she was hauled down five metres out, the ball was recycled right and Higgins rumbled over from close range.

The Irish were bossing territory and possession and six minutes later they extended their lead when they opted to kick for the corner from a penalty and after winning their line-out a rolling maul led to Jones going over the line for try number three.

A turnover close to her line by Alex Callender denied the home side their bonus-point try before the break but the 21-point half-time advantage reflected Ireland’s superiority after 40 minutes marked by their composure, patience through the phases and handling accuracy.

Ireland continued the second half in the same vein as soon after the restart teenage wing Corrigan charged down Llecu George’s attempted clearance from her own 22, re-gathered the ball and sprinted over to clinch the bonus-point score and her second international try.

Dannah O’Brien continued her impeccable record from the tee up to that point with a penalty as Ireland continued to control the game and then Cliodhna Moloney’s two and a half year international exile ended when she was introduced off the bench.

Forward Shannon Ikahihifo subsequently made her Ireland debut as a replacement.

Parsons was next to cross on the hour mark, the scrum-half accepting a pass from player-of-the-match Wafer and showing pace and strength to race down the left line and touch down.

Wales finally got on the scoresheet in the 66th minute when replacement Hopkins marked her international bow by burrowing over, the Television Match Official ruling she had managed to ground the ball on the line despite the best efforts of O’Brien to hold her up.

Ioan Cunningham’s side had a further score ruled out for a forward pass before the final whistle went.

Wales host France next weekend as they aim to avoid the Wooden Spoon, while Ireland travel to play championship leaders England.

Ireland: Lauren Delany; Katie Corrigan, Eve Higgins, Enya Breen, Beibhinn Parsons; Dannah O’Brien, Aoibheann Reilly; Linda Djougang, Neve Jones, Christy Haney; Dorothy Wall, Sam Monaghan (co-capt); Aoife Wafer, Edel McMahon (co-capt), Brittany Hogan.

Replacements: Cliodhna Moloney, Niamh O’Dowd, Sadhbh McGrath, Fiona Tuite, Shannon Ikahihifo, Molly Scuffil-McCabe, Nicole Fowley, Aoife Dalton.

Wales: Jenny Hesketh; Jasmine Joyce, Hannah Jones (capt), Kerin Lake, Carys Cox; Llecu George, Keira Bevan; Gwenllian Prys, Carys Phillips, Sisilia Tuipulotu, Abbie Fleming, Georgia Evans, Alisha Butchers, Alex Callender, Bethan Lewis.

Replacements: Molly Reardon, Abbey Constable, Donna Rose, Natalia John, Gwennan Hopkins, Sian Jones, Kayleigh Powell, Courtney Keight.

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