First Triple Crown for Ireland women
Updated: Saturday, 23 Feb 2013 16:04
Ireland women have beaten Scotland women 30-3 in the RBS 6 Nations to win a first ever Triple Crown and qualify for the Rugby World Cup.
It was a richly deserved win for the Fiona Coghlan-led Irish team who turned in another stellar performance just a week after their historic defeat of England in Ashbourne.
Having fallen behind to an early penalty from Scotland centre Lisa Ritchie, Ireland knuckled down and Niamh Briggs - who had a terrific game at full-back - kicked them level in the 23rd minute.
Philip Doyle's side pushed on to take an 8-3 interval lead with a sweeping 27th minute move ending with Alison Miller touching down in the corner.
Scotland hammered away at the Irish defence in the closing stages of the first half and a key turnover from Ashleigh Baxter ensured the visitors held out.
It remained a tight, hard-fought contest after the resumption, with Scotland clearly growing in confidence as the Irish errors increased.
But when Briggs landed a penalty after Scotland out-half Tanya Griffith was sin-binned for persistent infringements, Ireland settled back into their stride and the tries duly came.
Miller scorched over for her fifth try in two outings, finishing off in clinical fashion with the initial damage done by a surging Briggs run.
Briggs converted for an 18-3 scoreline and also added the extras to a well-merited try from flanker Siobhan Fleming, a player who has really grasped her opportunity in the last two matches.
The icing on the cake was a late fourth try from Briggs whose conversion attempt came back off the upright.
She finished with 15 points as the girls in green stormed home in the closing stages, making history with a first Triple Crown and keeping on track for a maiden RBS 6 Nations title.