Ann-Marie Donelan
Ann-Marie Donelan

21.20 17 Apr 2021


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Ireland head coach Adam Griggs says Ireland deserve to be in the top half of the Women's Six Nations in association with Guinness table.

His side were comprehensively beaten 56-15 by France at Energia Park on Saturday afternoon.

Eight French tries made for a sobering afternoon for the Irish in Donnybrook as they were well and truly brought back to down to earth after their opening win over Wales.

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Speaking to OTB Sports at full-time Griggs said their errors cost them.

"There are still some positives that we can look at through the game but certainly, we feel we're better than that scoreline reflects so we'll review the footage and get back to the drawing board for next week.

"The first two tries that we gave them came through our own errors. We missed a line-out which gave them a scrum.

"Our defensive setup was wrong, against a quality outfit like that, they exploit it straight away and score on the edge.

"We certainly felt that a few of those tries came from our own mistakes and against a quality team you've got to be better."

The result means the French will face England in London in next Saturday's finals day while Ireland will be away to Italy after they hammered Scotland 41-20 in Glasgow.

Griggs says it's important they regroup and look to end the campaign on a high.

"You can understand they [Irish players] are a bit down at the moment, a bit low on energy.

"The bodies are sore, when you have a loss the body always feels a lot more sore than it might be in a couple of days.

"We spoke as a group that we've got to take the learnings from this game and show that we are the third-best team in this competition.

"The only way we can do that is by going out next week and putting on a performance that we can be proud of and if we can do that we want to leave no doubts about where we sit in this championship.

The game, which only got the go-ahead on Thursday with the Irish Government granting a hotel quarantine exemption to the French side, was a reflection of where Irish Women's rugby is.

Griggs says the massive gulf in standard between amateur and professional is clear to be seen.

"I think we probably let them play a little too much.

"We spoke about our line speed and really trying to force errors on them and in the first 10 minutes we did that and we forced some mistakes but then we sat off a little bit and they're just too good to let them play at you.

"We've got to make sure that the way we start a game in that first 10 minutes, bringing that energy, we have to maintain it.

"If you don't do that it becomes an arm wrestle and against France it was far too difficult to try and get that back."


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