Talented Lindsay Peat leads way for Irish girls in Italy win
Ireland 14-3 Italy
Lindsay Peat's envious list of sporting achievements continues to grow as she yesterday scored her first international try in Ireland's 14-3 win over Italy.
Having represented Ireland in basketball and soccer as well as winning an All-Ireland football title with Dublin, Peat only took up rugby last year and made her debut in November.
Tom Tierney's side made life difficult but they put recent defeats to France and England behind them to beat Italy.
Peat's first-half try ensured Ireland led 7-3 at the break, but basic errors kept Italy in the game.
Tierney handed debuts to Kim Flood, Liz Burke and Claire McLaughlin from the bench. This is a transitional period for Ireland and that showed in what was a disjointed display, but as Tierney admitted afterwards, it's a case of learning and building towards next year's World Cup.
Michaela Sillari kicked the visitors into an early lead. It wasn't until five minutes before the break that Peat burrowed her way over.
"It's another moment to add to the collection that when I retire, I can look back fondly on it. I was delighted to get the start and it's even nicer to cap it with a try," Peat smiled.
"The senior players have been fantastic with me. They've been nice and patient because I'm sure there were times when it was very tedious. I feel I'm at a place where I know where we're going and hopefully we can kick on."
In Sene Naopu, Ireland have a player whose array of skills allows her to do things that other players simply cannot.
Ireland were always in control of proceedings in the second-half but it wasn't until Paula Fitzpatrick's 65th-minute try that they made sure of the victory.
Niamh Briggs converted Peat's try but with the skipper replaced, Nora Stapleton took over the kicking duties and fired over a fine conversion.
For all of Ireland's errors, there was plenty for Tierney to take from the game as the attention now turns to the final game against Scotland next week.
"With so many new combinations and new players coming in, we knew that it was going to be a disjointed game at times and thankfully we weathered those storms," Tierney said.
"We pride ourselves on our core skills and a lot of those turnovers were not necessarily a core skill breakdown.
"The intent of the girls was impressive but the execution wasn't. It's a step-by-step process."