In Saturday afternoon’s Vodafone Interprovincial Championship victory over Connacht at Energia Park, Jenny Murphy scored two tries for Leinster Connacht.
The involvement of the provinces had been well over a year ago. As anxiety set in, this was evident in the initial battles.
As they struggled to connect the phases, a settling period followed, punctuated by errors in the early minutes.
A penalty that moved them into the right area was based on a powerful Leinster scrum.
The ball was whipped left from a solid scrum, and wing Anna Doyle almost got around Mairead Coyne after catching it.
The Leinster scrum then forced a turnover, allowing Ali Coleman to score before scrum-half Ailsa Hughes misplaced the ball while scoring.
Connacht were able to take advantage of this huge break to get away from Nicole Fowley’s kick, and lock Fiona Scally scored a penalty on the ground to keep their momentum going.
However, a burst from left-wing Doyle and Dannah O’Brien’s boot, along with the scrum’s dominance, threatened to open up the Westerners.
Coleman tested Ava Ryder’s defense near the left corner with precise passing, causing the flanker to twist her knee and withdraw. Aoife Moore made her debut in her place.
Connacht was once more battered by the scrum. The ball was picked up by Hughes. In the 24th minute, wing Gorman was stopped short by Ryder as Hannah O’Connor broke forward.
With Connacht’s Fowley clearing her lines and the lineout forcing a knock-on, Leinster were taking control without scoring any points.
Due to Doyle’s encounter with Ryder on the touchline, Connacht were confined to going deep. The pressure’s weight had to show.
Finally, O’Brien’s lazy run overpowered the footwork of Niamh O’Dowd and Aoife McDermott, allowing Ella Roberts to break through for the try, which O’Brien converted in the 35th minute.
In the 38th minute, center Aoife Dalton’s powerful floor poach sparked a counterattack in which Hughes went blind. Doyle’s speed and angle on the ball were too much for Connacht, and O’Brien added the conversion to make it 2-0.
Connacht needed a break, and out-half Fowley scored a penalty to make the score 14-3 at the break.
The scrum continued to dominate, Hughes made 30 metres, and McDermott snatched a lineout against the throw were positive signs for Leinster.
A glimpse of Leinster’s continuity was provided by a hard charge and a soft offload from O’Connor, the support line of Eimear Corri, and Christy Haney’s carry.
Elise O’Byrne-Whyte, O’Brien’s replacement, smartly took a deft chip over the top for a successful try.
Leinster then activated the maul’s jets to devour the ground. In the 56th minute, they used the same vehicle once more to drive play all the way to the line.
Where Jenny Murphy twisted over for the touchdown, which O’Brien converted for 26-3.
To prevent Coyne from responding to Clara Barrett’s break, Leinster had to be careful, and Barrett was soon back.
on the ball to ask more questions.
Connacht benefited greatly from the pick-and-go, with outhalf Folwey spotting the space Orla Dixon filled for a superb try.
In the 68th minute, which Fowley converted from far to the left.
Molly Scuffil-McCabe’s speed from a tap penalty, a tumbling kick by Murphy, a serious scrum, and a good decision by number eight O’Connor made room for the backs.
O’Connor started what Murphy finished with her second try, which O’Connor converted at the final whistle. The Blues saved the bests for last.