Doyle delighted as hooker Bourke grabs winning try

Mon, Feb 4, 2013, 00:00

Wales 10 Ireland 12:Ireland head coach Philip Doyle said he was “delighted” after steering his side to a 12-10 away win against Wales in their Six Nations opener at Aberavon yesterday.

A late try by Ireland’s Gillian Bourke coupled with the home side’s failure to take full advantage of their second-half dominance proved decisive in a tight encounter.

Doyle said: “You’ve got to be delighted with that result. Historically it’s a very, very hard place to come. I’m pleased with one, getting the win, and two, getting a performance out of the team.

“In the second half, we weren’t playing territory and they dominated, but in the end, I think our depth came through.”

Ireland took the lead after a try by secondrow Sophie Spence, who would be sin-binned minutes later, was converted by Niamh Briggs.

Wales capitalised on their numerical advantage as fullback Rosie Fletcher went over late in the first half with stand-off Elinor Snowsill duly converting to make it 7-7 at the break.

The hosts began the second half the better team but a sturdy defensive effort and a missed penalty by Wales’ Snowsill kept Ireland in the game.

Their superiority resulted in another sin bin for the visitors, this time for replacement hooker Stacey-lea Kennedy who had only been on the field for a few minutes.

Laura Prosser kicked the penalty to give Wales a lead for the first time in the match. But with only minutes remaining, some great offloading by Ireland led to what turned out to be the winning try by hooker Gillian Bourke, who had returned to the pitch after her earlier sin-binning.

Next week sees Ireland welcoming tournament favourites England, and Doyle is expecting another tough match.

“We always look forward to playing England,” he said. “Historically again, the games are great fights.”

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