Women's Six Nations: Ireland 11-8 England

England pair Ceri Large and Abigal Brown halt the run of Niamh Briggs
England pair Ceri Large and Abigal Brown halt the run of Niamh Briggs
Women's RBS Six Nations:
Ireland (3) 11
Tries: Muldoon Pens: Briggs 2
England (8) 8
Tries: Millar-Mills Pens: McIean

Ireland gained revenge for their World Cup semi-final defeat by England with this narrow Six Nations win at a blustery Ashbourne on Friday night.

Harriet Millar-Mills rumbled over just before the break as a scrappy first half ended 8-3.

Irish pressure was rewarded with Lisa Muldoon's try and Niamh Briggs won it by firing over a late penalty.

Ireland sit two points behind leaders France while England lie fourth after just one win from three games.

The sides last met in the World Cup semi-finals last August with the English romping to a 40-7 win in Paris.

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Ireland made the early running in an attritional and error-strewn first half, but England were first on the scoresheet.

Katy McIean, restored to the captaincy in place of Tamara Taylor, converted the second of three penalty attempts.

Niamh Briggs drilled her penalty through the wind to level before Ireland squandered a try chance as England secured a turnover close to the line.

England pressed in the final minutes of the half and Millar-Mills charged over, although McIean failed to add the extras.

Ireland stormed forward on the restart, pinning England back and getting their reward with Muldoon going over from a quick tap-penalty.

Briggs saw her conversion drift wide as a gusting wind continued to make kicking difficult.

The momentum switched again although the Irish managed to repel a series of attacks from the visitors.

A delighted Lisa Muldoon celebrates her try which made it 8-8 at Ashbourne
A delighted Lisa Muldoon celebrates her try which made it 8-8 at Ashbourne

England's failure to capiltalise on their dominance proved costly as Ireland cleared upfield in the dying minutes and a driving maul led to a penalty in front of the posts.

Briggs kicked straight and high to clinch victory and keep Ireland's title hopes alive.

Ireland: Niamh Briggs, Hannah Tyrrell, Jenny Murphy, Katie Fitzhenry, Alison Miller, Nora Stapleton, Larissa Muldoon; Ruth O'Reilly, Gillian Bourke, Ailis Egan, Sophie Spence, Marie Louise Reilly, Paula Fitzpatrick, Claire Molloy, Heather O'Brien.

Replacements: Sarah Mimnagh, Fiona Hayes, Fiona O'Brien, Orla Fitzsimons, Katie Norris, Tania Rosser, Jackie Shiels, Sene Naoupu.

England: Lauren Cattell, Ruth Laybourn, Abigail Brown, Ceri Large, Sydney Gregson, Katy Mclean, Bianca Blackburn, Rochelle Clark, Victoria Fleetwood, Laura Keates, Tamara Taylor, Abbie Scott, Alexandra Matthews, Hannah Gallagher, Harriet Millar-Mills.

Replacements: Amy Cokayne, Heather Kerr, Justine Lucas, Rowena Burnfield, Hannah Field, Fiona Davidson, Megan Goddard, Amber Reed.

Referee: Leah Berard (USA)

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