426 total views, 1 views today
The side suffered a shock defeat to the 2019-20 Rugby Europe Championship winners in their first game of the Rugby World Cup 2021 Europe Qualifier tournament and needed a win to ensure that their qualification hopes stayed alive for the final round.
Ireland came away with a 15-7 victory that showcased an improved team performance after a shocking display in the loss to Spain.
Parsons shone on the day with her two highlights being a try to open the scoring and a dazzling run that led to Ireland’s second one of the day.
The head coach heaped praise on the 19-year-old back: “She’s outrageous. She had a really good game, she’s so hard to beat one-on-one.
“The beauty of her collecting that ball at the back, having time and space to pick out players one-on-one meant she was able to use her feet, bounce them off and get into space quickly with that acceleration that she has.
“The pleasing aspect for me of the try was that once she was brought to ground we recycled the ball quickly.”
Ireland’s backs worked well together to produce their second try following Parsons’ superb run.
The side looked much better as a whole throughout the game, although their set-piece still let them down at times.
Italy struggled to make their mark on the game and only got on the scoreboard when full-back Eimear Considine was in the bin.
Griggs said: “I’m happy that we got the result we were after. I thought we did a really good job of keeping Italy at bay and forcing pressure on them through our defence.
“It was something we spoke about this week, putting a real emphasis on closing down their space and not giving them time on the ball and I thought we did a really good job of that and it showed. Them struggling to exit kept us in the right areas of the field.
“It would have been nice to execute a couple more of those opportunities but at the same time we were after the result and we’re happy with that.”
Ireland will face Scotland next Saturday at 5 pm with a win and a bucketload of points needed to earn automatic qualification, should Italy beat Spain.