Ireland captain Ciara Griffin has praised the resolve of her team-mates, after Ireland got back into Rugby World Cup qualifying contention with a 15-7 win against Italy yesterday.

Adam Griggs's side put last week's shock defeat to Spain behind them as they deservedly saw off their Six Nations rivals by eight points, denying them a crucial losing bonus point.

It was a positive end to what had been an otherwise awful week for Irish women's rugby.

On top of the national team's defeat to Spain, there was controversy back home as the IRFU dealt with the fallout from the final weekend of the inter-provincial series, after Connacht's players criticised the changing conditions that had been provided to them at Energia Park before their game with Ulster.

Ireland's players put that controversy behind them to grind out a vital win in Parma, where tries for Béibhinn Parsons and Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe, as well as five points off the boot of Stacey Flood gave Ireland an eight-point victory.

Griffin says their performance against the Italians was a truer reflection of them as a team.

"Happy that we got the result, happy that we put in the performance that we know we can do," she told reporters after the game at Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi.

#ShoulderToShoulder

???????? ?????????????? ??????????????! ??

Thanks for all your support today. We go again next week. ??#NothingLikeIt #IrishRugby #RWC2021Qualifier #ITAvIRE pic.twitter.com/SYPkNUmyBE

— Irish Rugby (@IrishRugby) September 19, 2021

"It was a tough week, we were tough on ourselves, we'd a lot of hard work on the pitch, a lot of hard work off the pitch to make sure we were ready to go and thankfully that came to the fore today.

"Look, there was pressure on us, but we had a very good talk in terms of pressure and how we use it and how you can use pressure for your advantage, and take the pressure as pleasure at times in those high stakes games. I think we met that pressure well this week.

"Obviously the job is definitely not done, we're one step close, so big push and massive focus this week, starting tomorrow.

Griffin was seen limping from the pitch midway through the second half when she was replaced by Brittany Hogan, but the Tralee native has eased any concerns over her fitness for next Saturday's next must-win game against Scotland.

"No, I'm fine. Just a tiny bit of cramp," said the back row.

"The joy of this squad is there's people chomping at the bit to come on and put in their open performance their own name on a shirt. So I’m fine. It was a massive squad effort in there today."


RWC 2021 Europe Qualifier schedule

Monday, 13 September

Scotland 13-38 Italy
Spain 8-7 Ireland

Sunday, 19 September

Italy 7-15 Ireland
Spain 22-27 Scotland

Saturday, 25 September

Italy v Spain (2pm)
Ireland v Scotland (5pm Irish time)