Try-scorer Alison Miller insisted the Irish team were not surprised by their victory over holders New Zealand in the Women’s Rugby World Cup.
Ireland fought back from 8-7 down at half-time to win 17-14 in what was the five-in-a-row chasing Black Ferns’ first World Cup defeat since 1991.
“We’re not surprised we’ve won. We knew we could win,” Miller told RTÉ Sport.
“We knew ourselves that that performance was in us. We always believed it as a squad.
“We knew that we could beat them using our own strengths.
“That self-belief was always inherent in the camp and that’s the most important thing.
“We’ve achieved our goal of beating them so that’s fantastic.”
Ireland dominated in the first 20 minutes without scoring but Miller insists they didn’t let that knock their confidence.
“We probably should have had a few more points in the first half with all our possession but we were all over them and knew that with patience and playing smart we’d convert it into points eventually.
“With any of the top teams you have to go at them and show them what you’re capable of. If you sit back and let them come at you they’ll gain momentum and confidence, so we’re better off attacking and playing our rugby.
“That showed as the game went on and we believed we could do it.”
Miller hailed the impact of full-back and World player of the year Niamh Briggs, who kicked a stunning touchline conversion after setting up her team-mate’s decisive second-half try.
“I got a great pass off Briggsy (Niamh Briggs) and tried to use my feet a little bit and sprinted over in the corner, thankfully I got it down.
“Niamh Briggs is world class and you could see that level throughout the game.”