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Fryday: We’re building something special

Nichola Fryday Ireland

Ireland are building something special according to skipper Nichola Fryday after they showed incredible spirit to come from behind and beat Scotland in Belfast.

Three second-half penalties from Helen Nelson looked to have earned the win for visitors, who led 14-8 as the clock went into the red.

But Ireland piled on the pressure and kept hammering away before Enya Breen finally got over for the crucial score before holding her nerve and slotting the conversion to snatch a 15-14 win.

It was greeted by a huge roar from the Kingspan crowd as Ireland avoided last spot in the table and instead leapfrogged Italy into fourth with this victory.

And for Fryday, it is the perfect springboard towards a brighter future for the side.

She said: “We said coming here that it was going to be a special match. That crowd has followed us around the whole country this Six Nations and it has really meant the world to us getting record-breaking crowds week-on-week in our home games.

“I’ve just loved that people want to see us and want to support us. We’re building something special and I have no doubt that it is going to continue to grow in Ireland.

“We didn’t make it easy for ourselves and we knew it was not going to be easy against Scotland. They are a quality side and they have been knocking on that door the whole Six Nations but we stuck in and we didn’t give up.

“That has been us as a squad for this whole Six Nations, we’ve never given in and I’m so proud of the girls for that effort.”

Scotland led early through Evie Gallagher’s try, with Ireland only hitting the lead right on half-time when Neve Jones crossed from a rolling maul.

That was a deserved lead after Ireland had come into their own in the first half, but after the break it was Scotland who seized control, both on the scoreboard and in the game itself.

However, the final ten minutes belonged to the home side and Fryday paid tribute to Breen and Jones for their part in the win.

She added: “There was grit and true Irish heart in the last ten minutes of that performance. I’m just so proud of the girls for grinding it out and for Enya, what a performance and what a way to stand up at the end and take that kick.

“And for Neve Jones, I don’t think it could be more fitting for her to win Player of the Match here in Ulster because she has been a standout player for us in this entire Six Nations.”