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Magical Miller turns focus on Rio push

Ireland 45 - Scotland 12

By Cian Tracey

At times it was like watching a training session, although that may be doing a disservice to the intensity of an Irish session, but the reality was, the level of opposition that Scotland provided was worryingly below international standard across any sport.

In last year's meeting Ireland put 73 points on the hapless Scots and although they didn't hit the same heights in Donnybrook yesterday, they ruthlessly exposed them once again.

In truth, Ireland could have had much more than the eight had they not taken their foot off the pedal in the second half but a hat-trick from returning winger Alison Miller as well as a brace from captain Niamh Briggs sealed a third-place finish.

Yesterday's hat-trick was the third of the Miller's career.

"Hat-tricks are born out of the work that the forwards and the other girls do. You just have to be in the right place at the right time," a modest Miller said afterwards.

Ireland's final chance of securing Olympic qualification will come in June in Dublin and Miller insists that despite poor results at recent tournaments, the dream is still very much alive.

"Like 15s, there's a lot of new faces, a lot of talent, a lot of youth there. The last few tournaments didn't go our way and we didn't play to our potential but the exciting thing is that the team can only get better," she said.

Ireland won't play again until their first ever Autumn series, when New Zealand, Canada and England will all come to Dublin.

While they may not have defended their Six Nations title, there were enough positives to take from a campaign that was always being looked at as something of an experiment.

Ireland Women: N Briggs (capt); L Burke, C McLaughlin, S Naoupu, A Miller (A Donnelly 67); N Stapleton (K Flood 60), L Muldoon (M Healy 47); R O'Reilly (F Hayes 67), Z Grattage (C Moloney 47), A Egan (F Reidy 67); E Anthony (O Fitzsimons 60), C Cooney; C Griffin, C Molloy, P Fitzpatrick (S Spence 54).

Scotland Women: C Rollie (E Sinclair 60); M Gaffney (L Harris 63), L Thompson, L Martin, R Lloyd; S Law (H Nelson h/t), J Maxwell; H Lockhart (T Balmer h/t), L Skeldon (S Quick 74), L Smith; E Wassell (F Sim 74), D McCormack (L Robertson 64); J Forsyth (A Stodter 74), K Dunbar, J Konkel.

Referee: S Turnbull (CAN)

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