Monday, 8 March 1999

Ireland v England: report

Ireland 0 England 56

THERE was to be no consolation for the defeat at Lansdowne Road at Stradbrook yesterday, where Ireland's women rugby players were routed by a talented England team that ran in ten tries. The Ireland supporters can be relieved only that England's all-round excellence was not matched by their goalkicking.

There were no weak links in the England side. Their mobile pack was able to lay on a stream of possession and, with Jo Yapp and Sue Appleby calling the shots with authority at half back, Ireland's defence was stretched constantly by the incisive running of the England threequarters. The lineout was also a disaster area for Ireland, so much so that kicking to touch was tantamount to handing possession over to England.

England were out of sight at the end of the first quarter, when Nicky Crawford had scored two tries and Chris Diver, Sue Day and Yapp had also crossed. The second half was equally shattering as England ran in five tries, courtesy of Day, with two, Nicky Ponsford, Jayne Molyneux and Teresa O'Reilly.

SCORERS: England: Tries: N Crawford 2 (2min, 6), C Diver (16), S Day 3 (19, 48, 74), J Yapp (38), N Ponsford (45), J Molyneux (53), T O'Reilly (78). Conversions: T Collins, V Huxford, C Frost.

Copyright (C) The Times, 1999

Source Citation
Johnston, Karl. "England's women deny Irish any consolation; Rugby Union." Times [London, England] 8 Mar. 1999

Tuesday, 2 March 1999

Minister congratuales England

Matthew Parris,


Which is why Gwyneth Dunwoody (Lab, Crewe and Nantwich) comes as such a relief. The veteran "old" Labour rightwinger arrived yesterday arrayed in a new garment. A vast purple wrap, hundreds of square yards of it, covered this substantial lady. She described the "enormous opportunities" presented by the Millennium Dome: "a great public space," she said. Ah, Gwyneth, how true: but not our greatest public space! It lends a whole new meaning to the right to roam.

And a new fascination to the concept of women's rugby, heavily plugged yesterday by the Sports Minister Tony Banks.

For Monday mornings, Mr Banks chooses a wicked little black suit, three-piece, which he wears with a puckered face and sourly deadpan expression. Apropos of nothing much, Mr Banks offered his congratulations "to the England women's rugby team, on their victory over Scotland". Mr Banks's felicitations will raise a cheer in the ladies' shower room.

"I was there," he declared grimly. "And it was in fact very, very enjoyable rugby and I'd encourage people to go to women's rugby." Sadly, Mrs Dunwoody looked unconvinced.