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Ireland player ratings live from the Dublin RDS: The Easter Sunday resurrection that Scott Bemand’s Ireland craved didn’t materialise, Italy instead playing holiday time spoilsports to clinch a 27-21 round two Guinness Six Nations win.

Not since April 2022, when Scotland were edged by a point in Belfast, have the Irish managed a victory in this championship and their losing streak has now extended to seven.

They started brightly, fell away abjectly and yet, incredibly, they somehow came within an agonising few metres of potentially successfully sealing a miracle comeback.

England Women’s coach John Mitchell on the Red Roses squad

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England Women’s coach John Mitchell on the Red Roses squad

The Italians were playing out garbage time, throwing the ball about with a 13-point lead in the 79th minute, when they gifted Katie Corrigan an intercept.

That cut the gap six and suddenly, instead of seeing out their win with ease, it was backs to the wall for the visitors as there was still time for a final play.

Fixture

Womens Six Nations

Ireland Women’s

Italy Women’s

The rejuvenated Irish gathered the restart and fought their way forward to the other side of the halfway line where they won a penalty that was booted to touch inside the 22. It was game now very much on for the home support in the record 6,605 RDS attendance.

Alas, this demonstration of heartening late ticker ultimately went unrewarded as possession was eventually spilled near the try line with the clock more than two minutes in the red. Here are the Ireland player ratings:

15. Lauren Delany – 5
Featured little until caught needlessly running the ball from her try line. She was hauled down, conceding a no-release penalty to allow Italy their 15-7 interval lead. She was also injured in this play and driven away on a medical cart. Thankfully, was later reported to be up and on her feet in the dressing room.

14. Katie Corrigan – 6.5
Fresh from last week’s debut, the teenager only showed the odd glimpse of her potential until she demonstrated she has the concentration for this level as witnessed in her brilliantly finished intercept try which set up a grandstand finish.

13. Eve Higgins – 6
Needed to be patient given the level of mistakes happening around her and she was, making a decent enough contribution whenever she got the opportunity.

12. Enya Breen – 5.5
Her first Test appearance since last year’s opening-round injury wasn’t a brilliantly fond one, ending on 57 minutes just seconds after she slipped off a tackle on the try-scoring Vittoria Vecchini.

11. Beibhinn Parsons – 5
She is a usually class operator whose impacts frequently get the crowd enthusiastically screaming. However, she suffered a nightmare 14 minutes into the second half, cheaply dropping a pass when given a clear run at the line at a time when Ireland trailed 7-15.

10. Dannah O’Brien – 5.5
Promoted from the Le Mans bench, she endured a nervous beginning with inaccurate passing and kicking. Switched to full-back after Delany’s injury and was taken off the tactical kicking with the introduction of Nicole Fowley. However, with the sub kicking poorly, she showed her mettle by hitting back with a peach of a touch finder to set up Neve Jones’ 62nd-minute score and then getting her pack into the 22 again in the final play from another penalty.

9. Aoibheann Reilly – 6
Started energetically but the frustrating stop-start pattern that materialised after Ireland’s penalty try limited her influence from there until the break. Enjoyed a livelier second half but was hooked on 59.

1. Linda Djougang – 6.5
The French-based prop can be a monster of a player and she put in a high number of dominant tackles but that wasn’t enough to help her team get the decisive advantage it needed even though she trucked along for 77 minutes.

2. Neve Jones – 6.5
Played the full 80 and the reward was her maul try on 62 minutes. Was at fault, however, for the not-rolling-away penalty that invited Italy to kick to touch for their 25th-minute maul try.

3. Christy Haney – 5.5
Her scrummaging was rock solid with Ireland applying the early lead-taking pressure. Mistakes crept in after that, but she wasn’t the only player to suffer in that way. Played for 63.

4. Dorothy Wall – 5.5
Didn’t live up to her name during her 67 minutes as she was unable to put an engine room stop to the Italians. Instead, it was her opposite number who had reason to cheer in being a 33rd-minute try scorer.

5. Sam Monaghan – 7
Back in harness as captain following a concussion, she was defensively abrasive and was also her team’s top carrier. It was her lineout catch and drive from the front that set up the Jones maul score.

6. Grace Moore – 5.5
Included to start at the expense of last weekend’s omitted skipper Edel McMahon, she had a decent start but then faded and was gone on 54 minutes.

7. Aoife Wafer – 7.5
Wore the No7 shirt but played like a wrecking ball No8. Was a prime driver in helping Ireland get their early penalty try lead and she kept fighting the odds when they were stacked against her team in the second half.

8. Brittany Hogan – 7
Finished her day in pain, getting injured in the final play but she will be pleased with how she went, topping the tackle chart and keeping her team in an uneven contest.

Replacements:
It oscillated from sub hooker Sarah Delaney being left unused to Nicole Fowley being a 36th-minute introduction for the injured Delany. She struggled, with even a kick on a penalty advantage flying backwards at one stage. Ireland finished the fixture on the up, but that was due to Corrigan’s sudden intercept try rather than the bench creating sustained pressure.



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