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Page last updated at 15:55 GMT, Saturday, 21 March 2009

Wales claim Women's Triple Crown

Non Evans celebrates scoring Wales' second try
Veteran wing Non Evans celebrates scoring Wales' second try

Wales Women made history by winning the Triple Crown for the first time in their 22-year existence, beating Ireland 13-10 at Taffs Well.

The hosts' defence denied Ireland's late rally and secured Wales automatic qualification to the World Cup.

Prop Jenny Davies returned to score the opening try and veteran wing Non Evans added a second. Shannon Houston's try helped Ireland level 10-10.

But Evans' penalty was enough as Wales held out.

Both sides kept the ball alive in stunning playing conditions but Wales were well worth their victory.

Back-rower Catrina Nicholas was outstanding in defence while Clare Flowers posed a midfield threat for the home side with her powerful running.

Wales made one change starting line-up change to the side which aside Italy six days earlier, prop Davies replacing Claire Horgan, who dropped to the bench.

The Waterloo front rower repaid the faith shown in her by powering over in the second minute after centre Flowers carved open the Irish defence.

Evans had an opportunity to extend the lead but her penalty sailed wide.

However, Evans made immediate amends when latching on to Catrina Nicholas' flick pass to score. Evans' conversion hit an upright but Wales had a 10-0 lead after 10 minutes.

Niamh Briggs opened Ireland's account with a penalty, but fluffed here next attempt after 21 minutes.

Wales finished the half with a flourish, but Evans but was bundled into touch inches from the try-line and Wales led 10-3 at the break.

Eight minutes into the second half Houston shook off two tackles to race over and Briggs' easy conversion levelled the scores at 10-10.

Ireland were reduced to 14 players when hooker Yvonne Nolan was sent to the sin bin for lying on the ball.

Wales struggled to make their superior numbers count but eventually Evans popped over the decisive penalty to put the home side back in front.


Ireland continued to give the ball plenty of width with Briggs and replacement winger Amy Davis posing threats.

But Wales skipper Mellissa Berry led from the front in defence as Ireland rallied.

Irish centre Helen Brosnan dropped the ball when going for an intercept and with time running out Briggs sent a long-range shot wide.

Wales: Naomi Thomas (Bristol Ladies); Non Evans (Cardiff Quins), Clare Flowers (Bristol Ladies), Rachel Poolman (UWIC), Louise Rickard (Woodbridge); Awen Thomas (Cardiff Quins), Laura Prosser (Pontyclun); Hannah Roberts (UWIC), Rhian Bowden (UWIC), Jenny Davies (Waterloo), Gemma Hallett (Pontyclun), Rachel Taylor (Cardiff Quins), Catrina Nicholas (Cardiff Quins), Jamie Kift (Bristol Ladies), Mellissa Berry (Bristol Ladies, capt).
Replacements: Claire Horgan (Saracens), Catrin Edwards (Cardiff Quins), Louise Horgan (Saracens), Claire Donovan (Saracens), Amy Day (UWIC), Ali Wright (Loughborough/ Lichfield), Aimee Young (UWIC).

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see also
Italy Women 7-29 Wales Women
15 Mar 09 |  Welsh
France Women 27-5 Wales Women
28 Feb 09 |  Welsh
Wales Women 16-15 England Women
14 Feb 09 |  Rugby Union
Wales women off to winning start
08 Feb 09 |  Welsh
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales

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