Rugby

Parsons And Murphy Crowe Pick Up Tries In Vital Ireland Win

A try apiece from wingers Beibhinn Parsons and Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe guided Ireland to a crucial 15-7 win over hosts Italy in the Rugby World Cup 2021 Europe Qualifier in Parma.Ballinasloe teenager Parsons was once more a shining light for Ireland, grabbing her seventh international score and showing her evasion skills in the lead up to Murphy Crowe’s 62nd-minute effort.
Ireland’s ultra-physical defence kept a frustrated Italy scoreless, as Parsons’ 29th-minute try – following a surging lineout maul – made it 5-0 for half-time.

Italy, who were riding high after beating Scotland 38-13, took advantage of Eimear Considine’s yellow card to release Beatrice Rigoni for a converted effort.
However, Adam Griggs’ side got the result that keeps their World Cup qualification hopes alive, thanks to a Stacey Floodpenalty and a fine finish out wide from Murphy Crowe.
It is now extremely tight at the top of the table with all four teams on five points. Points difference separates them, with Italy (+17) in first place, closely followed by Ireland (+7), Spain (-4) and Scotland (-20).
Scotland also rebounded from an opening round defeat, edging out Spain 27-22 in a thrilling contest. In next Saturday’s final round, Italy play Spain before Ireland renew rivalries with the Scots (kick-off 5pm Irish time).
2021 Rugby World Cup European Qualifying Tournament Round 2, Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi, Italy 19/9/2021 Italy Women vs Ireland Women The Ireland team stand for the national anthem Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Giuseppe Fama
An early Cliodhna Moloney turnover offered Ireland encouragement, with Linda Djougang also getting a chance to stretch her legs after gobbling up some loose Italian possession.
The swarming Irish defence ensured Italy were kept at arm’s length inside the opening quarter, but just when Ireland were in position to strike, the worryingly-inconsistent lineout let them down.
With loosehead Laura Feely soon singled out, Ireland also conceded a couple of concering scrum penalties. Yet, captain Ciara Griffin responded brilliantly at the breakdown, getting over the ball to win back vital ball.
Winger Parsons threatened midway through the first half, gaining good ground up to the Italian 22. Ireland’s attack clicked again soon after, setting up a penalty which Flood missed, hitting the right hand post.
The pressure remained on territory-starved Italy, though, and a dominant lineout drive did the damage for Ireland. Quick ball was fed wide by the half-backs for Parsons to finish off on the left. Flood missed the difficult conversion.
2021 Rugby World Cup European Qualifying Tournament Round 2, Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi, Italy 19/9/2021 Italy Women vs Ireland Women Ireland’s Beibhinn Parsons scores a try Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Giuseppe Fama
Italy’s forwards came charging back, giving Ireland a taste of their own medicine. However, Griffin produced a try-saving tackle on Lucia Gai and then Elisa Giordano was bundled into touch, by Moloney and Kathryn Dane, near the right corner.
Flood, who broke from deep before the interval, was heavily involved on the restart, directing play and hitting a number of rucks.
Tighthead Djougang made a barnstorming run up into the 22, but lacked support and Italy held out. Ireland’s accuracy had notably improved from last Monday, yet the mistakes continued to come.

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HerSport Editor

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