The Irish rugby team can put nine fingers on the RBS Women’s Six Nations Championship trophy should they continue their flawless campaign to date when they welcome France to Ashboure, Co Meath, on Friday night (kick-off 7.45pm).
Ireland, who have Larissa Muldoon from Cappry and Fahan’s Nora Stapleton on the team, already have the Triple Crown in the bag and now have eyes on winning the championship for the first time in their history.
A 12-10 win against Wales in Port Talbot last month set the Irish team on their way but their championship challenge was spring-boarded when England came to Ashbourne and were defeated 25-0. No country had ever held England scoreless.
The English had won six out of the last seven Grand Slams and had beaten Ireland 17 times in succession beforehand. Two weeks ago, Ireland had a comfortable 30-3 victory against Scotland in Lasswade, outside of Edinbugh.
“We were so psyched and just concentrated on what we needed to do,” Muldoon told InTouch Rugby after the historic win over England. “It wasn’t really about them and defending for 80 minutes it was about us. We went out there as a team and literally, to the final minute, were all as one. I can’t fault the girls, it was just a brilliant performance.
“Everyone is so dispersed and we’ve a lot of exiled girls in the team so we all do our set programmes with strength and conditioning and nutritionist so everything is set in place for us. The preparation is really faultless this year.”
Muldoon, who is a student in Cardiff, has started all three games at scrum-half and Stapleton, a former Donegal Gaelic footballer who plays for Old Belvedere and Leinster, was a replacement in the win in Wales and started out-half in the two outings since.
With three wins from three, Ireland are the only one of the six competing nations still in with a chance of winning the Grand Slam. However, France have two wins from three and therefore an away win on Friday would leave the sides neck-and-neck entering the final series of matches.
To date, France have lost 13-12 to Italy in Brescia before whitewashing Wales 32-0 in Laon. Their last outing was a 30-20 success over England at Twickenham. They travel to pointless Scotland in their final encounter in Glasgow, while Ireland are going to Milan to face Italy, who also have four points from their first three matches and take on England on Saturday.