Full Ireland ratings as Murphy-Crowe and Flood make the difference
IRELAND 25-5 ITALY
Ireland got back to winning ways as they beat Italy to win their 3rd/4th place Six Nations playoff. Our full Ireland ratings see two Sevens stars top the class.
Ireland got over for a try in the left-hand corner after only eight minutes when Stacey Flood's quick-tap penalty set up Dorothy Wall with a one-on-one with an Italian winger, and the Tipp native did the rest.
The only other movement on the scoreboard in a scrappy first half, which Ireland dominated in terms of territory and possession, was a Flood penalty that made it 8-0.
Business picked right up after only three minutes of the second half as Amee Leigh Murphy-Crowe scorched over for a try off a set-play from an attacking lineout. Seven minutes later and another quick-tap penalty saw Cliodhna Moloney power over.
After 55 minutes, it was Italy that finally came to life. Their scrum started to put Ireland's under pressure and, on 62 minutes, they entered the home 22 for the first time in the game. On 68 minutes, Melissa Bettoni rewarded her teammates' efforts with a try.
The last word went to Murphy-Crowe, though, as she scored a try out of nowhere with the final move of the game.
Here's how we rated Adam Grigg's Ireland side:
Eimear Considine - 7
A few lusty tackles in defence to keep the Italians on their heels. Composed in defence and made a couple of nice carries. Made a sloppy knock-on in the closing stages. Made a brave take, in the 79th minute, and left the pitch bloodied after a knock to the face.
Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe - 9
Torched the Italian defence (below) for her first ever Ireland 15s try. Her second wasn't bad either.
Amee Leigh Murphy-Crowe scorching the Italians 🔥pic.twitter.com/93KCUCqx1z
— SportsJOE (@SportsJOEdotie) April 24, 2021
Her foot-work got her through a couple of tackles and got her team on the front-foot. Solid defence too and teamed up with Leah Lyons for a try-saving tackle.
Eve Higgins - 6
Penalised for a neck-roll at the breakdown, inside the Italian 22, to let the visitors off the hook. Kick-chase in the second half forced an Italian error and won Ireland back possession.
Sene Naoupu - 7.5
Excellent line break just before Moloney's try. Was fortunate that her tackle shot in the first half only ended in 10 minutes in the sin-bin. Constantly got over the gainline on carries and made 13 tackles.
Beibhinn Parsons - 7
Early handling error, over on her wing, ended a promising attack. Made 72 metres off her five carries.
Stacey Flood - 7.5
Put the boot to the floor and got her team going with sharp passes and quick-tap penalties, one of which set up Wall for her try. Kicking off the tee was mostly solid but got her third and fourth conversion attempts all wrong. Played the full 80 minutes and won the RTE 'Player of the Match' award.
Kathryn Dane - 7
Like Flood, wanted a high-tempo to wear out the Italians. Passing inside the opposition half was improved from last week.
Lindsay Peat - 6
Strong carries in the first half. Irish scrum started to creak in the second half.
Cliodhna Moloney - 8
Made some strong carries out there. Boshed through two Italians to score Ireland's third try after a quick-tap penalty. 37 metres made off seven carries and stuck all 11 of her tackles.
Linda Djougang - 7
Very forceful as a ball-carrier [38 metres made off five carries] but missed three of her 11 tackle attempts. Italy started to put some pressure on that Irish scrum in the final 30 minutes.
Aoife McDermott - 7
Made a vital ankle-tap tackle to prevent a dangerous break that could have cost Ireland a try. Big step-up after her tough day out against France.
Nichola Fryday - 6
Another who put in a better account of herself today. Tidy in the lineout and get through a lot of work around the breakdown.
Dorothy Wall - 8
At the heart of everything for Ireland, sometimes even dropping in at scrumhalf and first receiver. Powered over for a try and teed up Murphy-Crowe for her try. Ireland's top tackler, on 15.
Dorothy Wall powers overs for Ireland's opener against Italy
A real talent, the Tipp native pic.twitter.com/i3xswfuMEh
— SportsJOE (@SportsJOEdotie) April 24, 2021
Brittany Hogan - 6
Great lineout take and feed to Wall for that Murphy-Crowe try. Was kept busy around the breakdown and made 13 tackles.
Ciara Griffin - 6
Hannah O’Connor (for Griffin) - 6
Into the action nice and early after Griffin's concussion. Got herself turned over on one carry to scupper a three-on-one, out wide. Didn't miss a tackle all day.
Hannah Tyrrell (for Parsons) - 5
Emily Lane (for Dane) - 5
Grace Moore (for McDermott) - 5
Neve Jones (for Moloney) - 5
Leah Lyons (for Djougang) - 7
Stabilised the scrum and made a crucial tackle to prevent an Italian try.
Laura Feely (for Peat) - 5