Munster retain women’s rugby interpro title

Munster captain Nicole Cronin and Dorothy Wall lift the Interpro cup after their victory over Connacht in January.

MUNSTER secured back-to-back Women’s Interprovincial Championships with a hugely impressive 24-50 bonus-point win over Connacht at The Sportsground in Galway.

Player of the Match Deirbhile Nic a Bháird – the talented number eight’s second such accolade of this short campaign – Alana McInerney, and Clodagh O’Halloran all crossed for opening-half tries which set the visitors on their way. 

Munster were 19-5 ahead at the interval. 

On the resumption, Róisín Ormond went over for Munster’s fourth try, which mathematically secured the title before an excellent brace from Eilís Cahill and further five pointers from Rachel Allen and Heather Kennedy secured the historic achievement for Niamh Briggs’ side.

There was some good kicking too throughout on the part of Munster’s Nicole Cronin. 

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Determined Connacht did offer more resistance in the closing-half, but there wasn’t a thing to stop their on-form opponents from securing the championship.

Remarkably, ten of Munster’s starting XV on Saturday, along with coach Briggs, came from UL Bohemians. 

“We’ve been lucky enough as well to know the structure that Briggs has, and she brings to the table as a coach, she’s really organised with the session plan, and we’re used to that structure and setup,” commented Munster’s Clare Bennett to RTÉ.

“In fairness, everyone has gelled quite well, I’ve made a few new friends this season, and different girls from around the place.

“You might say there’s an advantage to playing with each other, but there’s girls from Bohs too playing for Connacht, so it’s both sides of the coin.”

Ahead of their trip west, assistant coach Fiona Hayes told RTÉ: “It’s about legacy, it’s about the Munster jersey, you’re dealing with each year separately, you’ve new players coming in and out, but the exciting thing with this group is that they’re young enough to start their own legacy.”

“When you win one, when you win two, then you start looking at the three-in-a-row so it’s about them coming together.”