Tuesday, May 28, 2024

‘There Is So Much Potential Within This Group’: Ireland Begin Planning For 2025 World Cup | Balls.ie

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The dream finally came true for the girls in green on Saturday evening as a 15-12 win over Scotland secured their spot for the 2025 World Cup and promotion to Tier 1 of WXV.

A thrilling second half saw Ireland score all fifteen of their points to secure the win. Speaking to the media after the game head coach Scott Bemand revealed what was said to the team at half time that lit the fire in their bellies to get over the line.

It’s a bit of a mental battle games like this and we put ourselves under a bit of pressure early doors. The girls were great in terms of working their way through that. We got back to the dressing rooms and we just said that there is no panic. We said we were fine and that we were putting ourselves in the right positions. We then identified one or two things that we were going to do and then we were able to come out after half time fairly swiftly and execute in the decisions that we made.

Bemand went on the commend the girls on how they approached the 2nd half against an equally matched Scottish team.

Scotland are a good team they weren’t going to make it easy but how the girls managed to come through that first half unfazed and put themselves back on the front foot and I think what we are seeing now is a team stacked full of charisma and resilience.

Young Katie Corrigan was once again the star of the show in the Kingspan crashing over for Irelands first try of the afternoon in the 41st minute. Speaking about the mood in the dressing room at half time she said

I think when we all went into the dressing room at half time we kind of knew we didn’t want it to be a repeat of the Italy game. We wanted to go out and win and we all knew we could win it was just a matter of going out and doing it. Everyone got going then for the 2nd half and we were all determined to go out and win.

SEE ALSO: Emotional Brittany Hogan Shows What Qualifying For World Cup Meant To Ireland

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It has been a whirlwind of a year for the winger. Speaking about her experience she said:

Oh my god honestly it has been such a rollercoaster. Going between the Celtic Challenge, starting AIL this year and then doing the Six Nations and qualifying for a World Cup. It just couldn’t get any better. It is crazy and it is just so nice to do it with the girls, they’re such a lovely group and I am just so happy for everyone for how well we have done today.

Corrigan wasn’t the only newbie to the squad this year as ex-Red Roses coach Scott Bemand took over as head coach last summer. Speaking about how proud he is of the group he said

I’m very proud. The stability of the group is we knew what we were after and one of our real strengths is our environment. And that’s not just me, it’s not just the players, it’s the support staff, it’s everything. It’s the hierarchy, it’s the IRFU. We’re a stable group and we know it is not going to be a linear piece. As we know it is going to come with some highs and some lows but we’ll just keep looking to take the next step. We don’t often not get people on the pitch and we had some potential first cappers today and unfortunately we couldn’t get them on. The game just went that way today but were more than just the 15 people on the pitch. How do I feel today? Pride. Pride because the whole thing is taking a step forward. Plenty to go at. We’ve got WXV 1 coming up which will come with its own challenges.

Talking about what is next for the girls, Bemand said:

We know where we are heading now. We’ve got a World Cup to prepare for. Some bits we need to tidy up on, of course we want to keep improving our game. There is so much potential within this group. We have got an amazing opportunity for these girls to show the influence they can have on the younger generation of people playing rugby.

Next up for Bemand and co is WXV1 in Canada this September. With qualification out of the way it will be the perfect opportunity for Bemand to try out different players in different positions.

If this year’s Six Nations was anything to go by, Ireland have an exciting future ahead of them as they continue to build over the coming years.

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