28 Apr 2024


Skipper Bethan Dainton ran in two tries and set a superb lead as Wales moved to within one game of qualifying for the 2026 Women’s World Cup, after defeating Ireland at Cardiff University Sports Park in front of a crowd of more than 500.

Wales now face Netherlands away on 22 June in Pool A to claim a qualifying berth.

“It was a good, competitive game," Wales women's head coach, Tom Brindle, said. "We played reasonably well for 60 of the 80 minutes but we’re pleased with the result.

“Ireland lifted in the second half and started to slow us down at the play the ball and we got a little carried away with ourselves, we’ve got to work on that last twenty minutes.”

Fielding three debutants, Wales were excellent in the first half, building an 18-4 lead at the break, Dainton being the first to cross after the visitors lost the ball 10 metres from their own line.

Dainton nearly went over again on the next play but the visitors replied when Dublin City Exiles’ Grace Tutty scored from a kick to the corner after Mairead Quinn had been held up over the line.

Wales replied immediately, quick hands across the line seeing Georgia Taylor cross out wide and, in the lead up to half time, Brittony Price fed Kathryn Salter who rolled out of a tackle to plant the ball down and added her third conversion.

It was Leeds Rhinos loose forward Dainton who secured the win with her second score, breaking through the Irish line, racing clear and rounding Cliodhna O'Sullivan for a superb score between the posts, Salter again with the extras.

Late on the sides swapped tries, Caoimhe Molloy powering through the home defence to score near the sticks, Storm Cobain goaling and, from the restart Wales scrum half Rhi Parker sprinting down the touchline to go over in the corner.

Ireland will now take on Netherlands in Dublin in three weeks in what is effectively an elimination game.

“Wales were outstanding,” said new Ireland women’s head coach, Matt Kennerson. “Encouragingly we looked a different side in the second half and eased into the game a little, but it was a great experience for the girls – we look forward to the next game.”


Brittony Price, Georgia Taylor, Ashlea Prescott, Kathryn Salter, Lucia Davies, Shaunni Davies, Rhi Parker, Amy Price, Jasmine Gibbons, Sara Jones, Hannah Jones, Charlie Mundy, Bethan Dainton. Subs: Agnes Wood, Katie Carr, Ffion Jenkins, Kim Boaler

Tries: Dainton (10, 54), Taylor (22), Salter (33), Parker (79); Goals: Salter 4/5


Cliodhna O'Sullivan, Bettie Lambert, Molly Young, Fran Copley, Grace Tutty, Holly O'Dwyer, Alex McGuinness, Mairead Quinn, Niamh Griffin, Rachel Morton, Storm Cobain, Tricia Doyle, Clodagh Dunne. Subs: Megan Preston, Caoimhe Molloy, Lydia Egan, Lisa Callan

Tries: Tutty (19), Molloy (78); Goals: Cobain 1/2

Half time: 18-4

Referee: Sam Jenkinson (England)