Ireland defeated in Cardiff as Six Nations campaign ends with underwhelming defeat

Wales 24Ireland 5

Alex Bywater reports from Cardiff Arms Park

IRELAND HAD A St Patrick’s Day to forget as they ended an underwhelming Six Nations campaign with a 24-5 defeat to Wales. 

Just a day after Joe Schmidt’s senior men’s side was blown away in Cardiff, the women’s team suffered a similar fate.

17-year-old Beibhinn Parsons scored Ireland’s only try on Sunday. Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Beibhinn Parsons opened the scoring, but after that Ireland failed to score a point as a miserable weekend of Irish rugby in the Welsh capital was completed.

This was Ireland’s first defeat to Wales in the Six Nations since 2011.
Home tries came from Jess Kavanagh, captain Carys Phillips, Bethan Lewis, and Jasmine Joyce.

Ireland turned around 12-5 behind despite dominating the opening quarter’s territory and possession. Parsons did give them the lead as visiting pressure finally told and the left winger finished in the corner to open the scoring. The conversion was missed. 

After that, it was Wales who were the better side for the rest of the first half. Lleucu George fed Kavanagh who raced clear to level the game up and despite a bright start, Ireland were now in reverse as they lost Nichola Fryday to injury.

Wales No Siwan Lillicrap was yellow carded for a high tackle, but it only seemed to strengthen her team’s resolve as they went to the break ahead after hooker Phillips was driven over from a line-out and George kicked the goal.

Wales’ Amy Evans and Bethan Lewis with Nicole Fowley. Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

In a tight and scrappy second half both teams made mistakes as a bitterly cold wind swirled around Cardiff Arms Park. Ireland had plenty of ball, but they did little with it as Wales’ defence held firm.

Griggs replaced Nicole Fowley with Ellen Murphy at out-half in search of a greater attacking threat.  It didn’t work.

Wales kept the ball in the tight exchanges and Ireland couldn’t respond. Lewis was driven over from close range with 12 minutes to spare and it left the visitors up against it.
George nailed the kick in impressive fashion from wide out.

There was still time for more Irish misery as the outstanding Joyce ran in from more than 50 metres to seal victory for Wales. 

Wales scorers:

Tries: Kavanagh, Phillips, B Lewis, Joyce
Cons: George (2)

Ireland scorers:

Try: Parsons

WALES: Smyth (Wilkins 74); Joyce, H Jones, George, Kavanagh (Neumann 74); Snowsill, Bevan (F Lewis 74); Thomas (Hope), Phillips (K Jones), Evans (Hale), Crabb, Clay, Butchers (Johnes 74), B Lewis (Callender 74), Lillicrap

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IRELAND: Delany; Considine, Breen, Naoupu, Parsons; Fowley (Murphy 50), Dane (Cronin 58); Peat (Djougang), Nic A Bhaird (Hooban 70), Reidy (Feely 50), McDermott, Fryday (Caplice 20), Griffin, Molloy, McLaughlin (McMahon 55-65 and 70)

Referee: Hollie Davidson

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