What we learned as Wales completed Six Nations with powerful victory over Ireland

Wales Women v Ireland Women, Six Nations. Image Jordan Jones.

by Jordan A Jones

ROWLAND Phillips’ Wales finished off their 2019 Six Nations campaign with a 24-5 victory over Ireland at Cardiff Arms Park.

What were the key takeaways from the game, as Wales earned their first victory over Ireland in eight years, scoring a total of four tries?

 

Set-piece dominance

Wales got the better of the Irish up front, coming out on top by exploiting their underpowered scrum and winning numerous penalties as a result. Blindside flanker Bethan Lewis was a good example of this, as she sneaked over the try line after the forwards created a strong platform from the set-piece.

Wales’ patience pays off

Ireland were dominant for the opening 20 minutes, but the Dragons bided their time and although they fell behind to an early try from debutant Beibhinn Parsons, they were undeterred. An immediate response from Jess Kavanagh ensured Wales weren’t behind for long and they grew into the game from there. Carys Phillips’ try approaching the half-hour mark signalled a change of complexion in the game, before a try from Lewis, converted by Lleucu George, ensured the victory. Joyce’s bonus-point try rounded off a composed performance.

Jasmine Joyce influential

Wales’ go-to player in his Six Nations was winger Jasmine Joyce, who also represented her country in Sevens. She put in an impressive display in the red of Wales, and was the cog in the wheel that drove her country forward. Joyce was fully deserving of her try. The Olympic Sevens star raced all of 60 metres for it, outstripping everyone for pace to score in the corner and earn a bonus point for Wales.

Wales earn their highest finish under head coach Phillips

Progression in the Welsh national team was shown with Wales’ highest finish under Rowland Phillips. They ended the campaign four points ahead of Ireland. After last week’s dramatic victory in Scotland and a proud display against England, the result lifted Wales to their best Six Nations finish in three years.

The hope is that Wales fans can now feel a sense of optimism for the future.