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Munster and Leinster start strong in IRFU Interprovincial Championship

Munster and Leinster start strong in IRFU Interprovincial Championship

Inpho

When rugby returns to the sporting calendar it’s always an exciting time of the year, and none more so than in Ireland where the IRFU Women’s Interprovincial Championship is now up and running.

When rugby returns to the sporting calendar it’s always an exciting time of the year, and none more so than in Ireland where the IRFU Women’s Interprovincial Championship is now up and running.

The four provinces fired into action last weekend with a whole host of Ireland internationals and exciting young talent on display.

Here, we take a look back at Round 1 and also preview the upcoming action this weekend.

Interpro’s Round 1

Munster and Leinster are joint leaders in the Interpro Championship after they both surged to convincing wins in Round 1.

Leinster and Ulster kicked off the annual event at Blackrock College RFC on Friday night, with the home side celebrating a 17-0 win at the final whistle.

New Leinster head coach Ben Armstrong and new captain Sene Naoupu will no doubt be pleased after flanker Juliet Short registered a try double and Lauren Farrell McCabe touched down for a third.


“We’re pretty happy with how we went,” admitted Australian Armstrong, who fielded 10 new caps in all. “Firstly to get the win, but secondly to get some rustiness out of our system so we’ve a few things to work on.

“We’re asking the girls to challenge their own skill-set and see what’s in front of them. If it’s on up front, it’s on up front. If it’s on out the back, we’ll take it.”

Munster, meanwhile, began their Interpro title defence with a 24-7 win over Connacht at Irish Independent Park, owing to tries for international trio Chloe Pearse, Fiona Hayes and Eimear Considine.

Niamh Briggs also kicked seven points while Shannon Touhey responded for Connacht.
 


Can Connacht and Ulster rally?

Playing away from home in the first competitive fixture of the season is never easy and so it proved for Connacht and Ulster, who will be desperate to bounce back from defeats this weekend.

First up on Sunday, Ulster will host Munster at Portadown RFC, 1pm kick-off, with head coach Derek Suffern looking to build on the positives in defeat to Leinster.

“We did have seven or eight possessions close to their line,” said Suffern. “If we’d scored one of those, it would have given us a lot of confidence.

“In the second half, we just failed to get out of our exit and they just put us under pressure, but we’re making strides.

“A lot of players performed very well right to the end. We’ve got to be proud of their effort and to take the positives.”


Two hours later on Sunday Connacht welcome Leinster to the Sportsground looking to build on their second-half performance against Munster, in which things were much improved.

Head coach Jarleth Naughton may have had some stern half-time words and Connacht’s high-tempo approach resulted in the try for Touhey.