Larissa Muldoon from Cappry was a second half substitute as Ireland’s women continued their impressive RBS Six Nations with a 20-0 win over Scotland at Ashbourne, Co Meath, on Friday night.
Muldoon, who broke a leg as recently as October whilst playing a club match in Wales, where she is a student in Cardiff, came on at scrum-half for Amy Davis on the hour. And after hammering Wales 36-0 and Italy, 40-10, the win over the Scots continued Ireland’s hot streak. After a heartbreaking 8-7 loss in Pau against France in their first outing, Ireland round off their campaign against an England side chasing a Grand Slam on Saturday at Esher RFC in south-west London. However, they still have to take on France at the Stade Charlety in Paris this afternoon at 12.45pm
Just as they had done against the Welsh, lock Sophie Spence, full-back Ashleigh Baxter and winger Alison Miller all crossed while in defence they were equally proficient securing their second successive shutout.
Niamh Briggs contributed the remaining points with a penalty and a conversion and now Ireland face England in their final match with the Triple Crown and the RBS 6 Nations title potentially on the line.
Philip Doyle’s team made a rapid start and soon had their first try when Niamh Kavanagh punched the initial hole in the Scottish defence before Spence ran in from close range.
Briggs added the conversion and Ireland remained on the front foot with a pass to the onrushing Miller being ruled forward to the relief of the visitors.
Briggs was involved at both ends of the pitch being held up just short of the Scottish line before producing a try-saving tackle on Stephanie Johnston to keep the away side at bay.
The relief was only temporary for the Scots as fly-half Lynne Cantwell scorched through the Scottish defence before the ball was moved at speed down the line for Baxter to finish in the corner to round off the first-half scoring at 12-0.
Ireland remained on the front foot after the break and after Grave Davitt and Kavanagh both made inroads into the Scottish half, Briggs was able to nudge the hosts further ahead with a penalty.
It seemed a case of how many more tries Ireland could rack up at times but Scotland - to their credit - defended stubbornly and Kavangah was only just denied on two occasions.
But they would could a third try when lock Louise Reilly did superbly did charge down a clearing Scottish kick and Irish captain Fiona Coghlan capitalised to put Miller in the corner.
Ireland: Ashleigh Baxter (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster); Niamh Kavanagh (UL Bohemians/Munster), Niamh Briggs (UL Bohemians/Munster), Grace Davitt (Cooke/Ulster), Alison Miller (Portlaoise/Highfield/Connacht); Lynne Cantwell (Exile), Amy Davis (Blackrock/Leinster); Fiona Coghlan (UL Bohemians/Leinster) (capt), Paula Fitzpatrick (St. Mary’s College/Leinster), Ailis Egan (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Sophie Spence (Exile), Marie Louise Reilly (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Laura Guest (Highfield/Munster), Claire Molloy (Bristol/Connacht), Joy Neville (UL Bohemians/Munster).
Replacements used: Gillian Bourke (UL Bohemians/Munster) for Fitzpatrick (51 mins), Heather O’Brien (Highfield/Munster) for Guest (55), Larissa Muldoon (Exile/UWIC/Ulster) for Davis (60), Shannon Houston (Blackrock/Leinster) for Davitt (65), Jennifer Murphy (Exile) for Kavanagh (70), Ruth O’Reilly (Galwegians/Connacht) for Coghlan, Siobhan Fleming (Tralee/Munster) for Reilly (both 74).
RBS women’s Six Nations table (before Wales v Italy last night)
P W D L F A Diff Pts
1 England 3 3 0 0 123 3 120 6
2 Ireland 4 3 0 1 103 18 85 6
3 France 3 3 0 0 63 7 56 6
4 Wales 3 1 0 2 20 69 -49 25
5 Italy 3 0 0 3 13 115 -102 0
6 Scotland 4 0 0 4 0 110 -110 0