Women's Six Nations: Ireland v Scotland
Donnybrook, 1pm (Sunday) - Live RTÉ
The try count tells a story. Compare Ireland captain Ciara Griffin's team, scoring eight and conceding seven in three matches, to England's 22-2 return, France (16-0) and Scotland (4-14).
Different standards. Ireland are set to remain mid-table as their Six Nations campaign achieves mediocre status with an expected win in the last Sunday lunchtime fixture of a transitionary season.
Scotland, in stark contrast, will probably stay on course for a Wooden Spoon showdown in Italy.
New national coach Adam Griggs has made two changes to the side that beat Wales with Hannah Tyrrell returning to the wing and Cliodhna Moloney starting at hooker. Sevens flyers Ashleigh Baxter and Louise Galvin are named on the bench.
“We came away with a good win against Wales and there are some huge positives to come out of that,” said Griggs following the 35-12 victory that at least halts the downward spiral following last year’s disastrous World Cup.
“We are in a good place going into the final two games. If we replicate our last performance, get the small things right, I am confident we will have a successful outcome.”
A tough evening is promised in Coventry against England next Friday – depending on tonight’s championship decider in Grenoble, the Red Roses could be chasing another Grand Slam – but respectability for Ireland should be secured with a third victory in Donnybrook.
IRELAND: Kim Flood (Railway Union/Leinster); Megan Williams (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Katie Fitzhenry (Blackrock College/Leinster), Sene Naoupu (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Hannah Tyrrell (Old Belvedere/Leinster); Niamh Briggs (UL Bohemian/Munster), Ailsa Hughes (Railway Union/Leinster); Lindsay Peat (Railway Union/Leinster), Cliodhna Moloney (Railway Union/Leinster), Leah Lyons (Highfield/Munster); Aoife McDermott (Railway Union/Leinster), Orla Fitzsimons (St Mary's College/Leinster); Ciara Griffin (UL Bohemian/Munster, capt), Claire Molloy (Bristol), Paula Fitzpatrick (St Mary's College/Leinster).
Replacements: Ciara O'Connor (Galwegians/Connacht), Laura Feely (Galweigians/Connacht), Fiona Reidy (UL Bohemian/Munster), Ashleigh Baxter (Cooke/Ulster), Edel McMahon (Galwegians/Connacht), Nicole Cronin (UL Bohemian/Munster), Michelle Claffey (Blackrock College/Leinster), Louise Galvin (UL Bohemian/Munster).
SSCOTLAND: Chloe Rollie (Lille Metropole Rugby Club Villeneuvois); Liz Musgrove (Edinburgh University), Lisa Thomson (Lille Metropole Rugby Club Villeneuvois), Helen Nelson (Murrayfield Wanderers), Hannah Smith (Hillhead/Jordanhill), Lisa Martin (capt, DMP Sharks), Sarah Law (Edinburgh University/Murrayfield Wanderers); Siobhan McMillan (Hillhead/Jordanhill), Lana Skeldon (Watsonians), Megan Kennedy (Stirling County); Emma Wassell (Murrayfield Wanderers), Deborah McCormack (Harlequins); Sarah Bonar (Loughborough Lightning), Rachel Malcolm (Loughborough Lightning), Jade Konkel (Lille Metropole Rugby Club Villeneuvois).
Replacements: Jodie Rettie (Thurrock), Katie Dougan (Edinburgh University/RHC Cougars), Lindsey Smith (Hillhead/Jordanhill), Siobhan Cattigan (Stirling County/Stirling Univeristy), Louise McMillan (Hillhead/Jordanhill), Jenny Maxwell (Loughborough Lightning), Lauren Harris(Edinburgh University), Rhona Lloyd (Edinburgh University).
Verdict: Ireland win