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Ireland Captain Ciara Griffin Hails Team Performance v Italy

Ireland Captain Ciara Griffin Hails Team Performance v Italy

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Ireland Women's captain Ciara Griffin

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Ireland Women’s national team captain Ciara Griffin has hailed her side’s performance in their victory over Italy on Sunday afternoon.

Griffin and co. ran out 15-7 winners over Rugby World Cup 2021 Europe Qualifier hosts Italy in the second round of games.

Their first win of the qualifiers follows a shock loss to 2019-20 Rugby Europe Championship winners Spain in the opening round.

The national side needed a win against their Six Nations rivals to keep their qualification hopes alive heading into the third and final round of fixtures.

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Griffin noted that the side had a much-improved showing defensively after doing a lot of work with defence coach Kieran Hallett over the week.

“We did a lot of work this week in terms of defence with Kieran. As a group we’re composed in our defensive structure, there’s a lot of organisation there,” the Ireland captain said.

“To be honest, it’s just fulfilling our defensive system. You saw that today, it worked well. We were quite composed in our defensive line and in terms of working and disrupting rucks.

“Comparing last week to this week, we definitely fulfilled our defensive system better.”

Griffin led by example with a fantastic last-ditch effort to deny the Italians just metres short of the Irish try line near the end of the first half.

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Ireland let their lead slip momentarily after losing full-back Eimear Considine for ten minutes but took control once again soon after a converted Italy try and added a second try of their own when Italy were reduced to 14 women.

After their win, there were scenes of celebration among the Irish players but their captain insists that all eyes are on the Scotland match on Saturday.

“At the end, when the final whistle went, there was elation and relief because there was pressure on us.

“You want to celebrate a win but you saw that as soon as we came back in from the pitch, we had our huddle and we switched focus onto the Scotland game.”

“Now it is getting the mental switch pressed onto this Saturday’s game.”

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